schools.jpgStandardized test scores in math and English language arts improved in San Francisco this year, continuing a five-year trend, school district officials said Friday.

San Francisco Unified School District scores on the California Standards Test increased 3.1 percentage points in English language arts and 1.6 percentage points in math, according to district officials.

Over the past five years English proficiency rates have risen 10 percentage points and math scores 8.2 percentage points in the district. Around 60.5 percent of district students now rate as “proficient” or above in English and 67.6 in math, a higher percentage than in the state as a whole, officials said.

“We continue to lead the way as one of California’s top performing school districts,” said Board of Education President Norman Yee.

The gains have been especially pronounced among minority students and in 14 historically under-performing schools that have been targeted for special funding and improvement efforts.

“We’re closing the achievement gap,” said Superintendent Richard Carranza.

Over the past five years, proficiency rates in English language arts grew 13 percentage points for African American students, 10 percentage points for Latinos and 11 percentage points for Samoans. In math, proficiency rates grew 13 percentage points for African American students, 10 percentage points for Latinos and 11 percentage points for Samoans.

The district created the Superintendent’s Zone in 2010, comprising 14 under-performing schools, largely in the Bayview and Mission districts.

Schools in the zone had only 19.4 percent of their students classified as proficient in English in 2008, and 25.1 percent in math. This year, 35.5 percent of students were proficient or above in English and 48.8 percent in math.

“The rate of accelerated growth in the Zone demonstrates what is possible when you combine a clear vision and strategy, with the additional resources necessary, for serving our historically most underserved students,” said Deputy Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.

The district tested nearly 38,000 students in spring of 2012.

A total of 10 schools showed double digit increases in English proficiency and 11 in math. Three schools experienced double-digit growth in proficiency in both English and math: San Francisco Montessori, Everett and Paul Revere.

A total of 11 schools closed the achievement gap in both English and math for either black or Hispanic students. One school, Visitation Valley, closed it for both minority groups.

Statewide, 57 percent of students scored proficient or above in English, and 51 percent in math. State scores increased this year for the ninth straight year, according to state education officials.

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