Speaking as a long time district resident and teacher, I read with interest the TVUSD press release and Press Enterprise Article on the reporting of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test scores.
As would be expected, Temecula, Murrieta, and Corona-Norco were in number one, two, and three county wide in both English- Language Arts and Mathematics. It should be recognized that standardized test scores are mostly a function of demographics, particularly the Socio-Economic factor of parent educational attainment. We are fortunate here in Temecula to have a community that values education and achievement. We have a strong family structure, fantastic highly skilled teachers, and a culture which prepares students for college.
Our students as a whole performed mostly as we would expect despite the anxiety of a new testing structure. As a Tony Tobin Elementary teacher stated in the Press-Enterprise, “When I saw the scores, I was pleasantly surprised. I was hoping for scores that would reflect my student’s abilities and I think the scores reflect that.”
Now…. speaking as TVEA President and representing our 1340 members I believe we are on the right track. Some of the district initiatives that were implemented in the last couple of years were done at bullet train speed and led to much employee distress yet we are rebounding.
Increased Individual teacher planning time at the elementary level along with changing the end of semester summative assessments from mandatory to optional will lead to more teacher efficiency, productivity, and creativity.
Speaking for our members, the fact that you are not only listening to us, but utilizing our expertise in structures like LCAP, Common Core Advisory, and Superintendent’s Council bode well for TVUSD’s future.
Challenges remain. Upper elementary class sizes press into the mid 30’s with the mainstreaming of Special Education students. Many Math and English class sizes at the secondary level remain too high to provide a quality learning experience. Yet with continued two way TVEA-TVUSD communication and a climate of trust and respect, the sky can be the limit.