Test scores from first dual immersion class not too impressive
It seemed shocking. Statistics revealed to the Mammoth Unified School Board on Jan. 20 showed students in the current sixth grade Dual Immersion class plummeting in their Language Arts and Math test scores, yet the handful of parents at the meeting seemed complacent, if not bored with the results.
“When Dual Immersion was first introduced we were told test scores would go down before dramatically going back up,” explained Tabby Mannetter, the parent of a sixth grader in the class in question.
In California Standardized Tests for English Language Arts administered at Mammoth Elementary, non-DI English Learners increased an average of 71.3 points while DI English Learners only increased 10.9 points. In CST Math scores, non-DI English speaking students increased an average of 12.8 points while DI English speaking students decreased an average of 2.2 points. These were just a few of the numbers.
The one positive section on the report showed that while non-DI students had increased an average of 54 points on their California English Language Development Tests, DI students had increased an average of 73.6 points.
The data became less reliable, however, as staff began to explain all the caveats that went along with it. First, the class of 2017 was the first to be involved in MUSD’s Dual Immersion program. In other words, they were the program’s guinea pig. Not only did these students not get a chance to start the program until they were in first grade (all of the subsequent classes have started the process in kindergarten), but in the 2009/2010 school year these students did not have a bilingual teacher available to them, so they fell behind once again.
“Looking at this data makes it [the DI program] look bad,” said Mammoth Elementary School Principal Rosanne Lampariello,” but this is just a slice, which is why I want to put another class next to it so we can look for the trends that contribute to the good and the bad.”
Lampariello had hoped to have data for the fifth grade class compiled by Jan. 26. However, due to the tedious process by which staff must compile the data from the school’s system, the Wednesday date was pushed back to Monday, Jan. 31. This lack of a central database pointed to another serious gap not only in the DI data but also in the entire school system. Sections of data were simply missing, according to Lampariello and School Superintendent Rich Boccia, both new to the school district this year, while others had to be pulled by hand because they had not been entered into the current database, according to Heather Blackley, who is one of the leads in the data compilation.
“The data is not together in one place, anywhere,” Blackley said.
Board member Andrew Bourne pointed out that the poor database made the sixth grade statistics even less powerful.
“But they had to start with something,” Mannetter told The Sheet.