August 31, 2016
YPI congratulates the schools of the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood on outstanding results in the latest round of standardized test scores released by the California Department of Education last week.
Students at STEM Academy of Hollywood achieved a staggering 38 percentage point increase in ELA to 81% proficiency, positioning STEM as the sixth highest ELA rate of any high school in the district. And STEM has the largest population eligible for free and reduced lunch of these top schools at 94%. As for math proficiency, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center achieved a landmark 20 percentage point increase at the high school level and 11% in K–8, despite serving a student body that is 98% free/reduced lunch.
At Pacoima Charter School, where YPI has partnered for fifteen years, students had double digit gains in both math and ELA. Overall, 16 of the 18 Promise Neighborhood schools increased in ELA proficiency. YPI’s own partnership school Sylmar Biotech Health Academy had a 19% jump. And of the ten high schools, scores were up 8% in ELA and 6% in math. This significantly outperforms the overall California increases of 3% in ELA and 4% in math at the high school level.
Across all the schools in the Promise Neighborhood—traditional, charter, pilot, and partnership—there was an average 7% increase in English Language Arts proficiency and a 5% increase in math. This compares favorably with LAUSD as a whole, where the gains were 6% in ELA and 4% in math. These results are even more impressive given that Promise Neighborhood schools serve a high-poverty population with 90% eligible for free/reduced lunch, as opposed to 76% for the district.
Paul Hirsch, Principal, STEM Academy of Hollywood, shared, “We are extremely proud of our SBAC growth this year. YPI's all-hands-on-deck approach helped us build out capacity to support every student. The academic support team helped us build growth goals that we were able to surpass. They also built a network of principals that could share best practices. Together, we worked on school culture so that students truly cared about their success on the exam. Our YPI College Advisor, Yesenia, made clear that success on SBAC meant they would place in college level math and ELA courses which motivated them to try harder on the test. In addition, SAT/ACT prep classes that YPI funded helped students build the literacy and math skills needed to reach proficiency on the 11th grade test."
Sylvia Fajardo, Executive Director, Pacoima Charter School, stated, “We saw strong gains in both Math and English proficiency in large part because of the way we utilized data to ensure students were getting the right interventions at the right time. YPI’s Promise Corps tutors had a large role to play in this intervention plan. They were committed and sharp young adults who did an excellent job providing consistency to the group of students they were assigned. The five tutors were at the school early and stayed into the evening, creating strong relationships with their target students. For some of our 3-5th graders who needed the most support, they were part of daytime intervention and after-school tutoring supported by Promise Corps tutors. Students knew they could count on them, and the connections the tutors built over the year with the students, as well as the reading and math support provided, ensured students grew in their proficiency.”