CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) --On Wednesday, state schools superintendent Tom Torlakson released the scores from the latest standardized test. Clovis Unified far exceeded state standards with other area districts still trying to catch up.
The second year of California's new standardized test for students, known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment, is giving local school districts a better picture of how many of their students are grasping English and math.
"We're elated at our scores and the achievements that our students made," Debbie Parra with the CUSD said. "Of course, we always want to get better."
Clovis Unified surged ahead of the state average with 67 percent of students meeting or exceeding achievement levels in English Language Arts. Fresno Unified scored far lower than the state average with 31 percent.
In math, 54 percent met or exceeded achievement levels at Clovis Unified while Fresno Unified fared 15 points lower than the state average with 22 percent meeting or exceeding achievement in math.
Clovis Unified administrators credit a recent $2 million dollar grant to help elementary school teachers learn new skills in mathematics.
"We have 115 elementary teachers going to school in the summer time and during the school year to learn about different ways of presenting mathematics to students maybe even improving their own knowledge," Parra said.
Clovis Unified said it plans to use the recent test results to try and further improve their students learning in the classroom. Central Unified saw a major jump in its English Language Arts scores with 39 percent meeting or exceeding achievement standards. Visalia Unified aligned close to the state average with 48 percent and Merced city scored 22 percent.
"We were above the fold of what other people experienced at a little over 8 percent," Mark Sutton with the district said. "So, that's really exciting."
In math, 26 percent of Central Unified students met or exceeded achievement levels and Central Unified said this year it's launching new cooperative learning structures to keep students engaged with hopes that students improve writing skills and overall understanding of the Common Core curriculum.
"We really have to make sure we're focusing our efforts on our English learners, students with special needs and continuing work on just looking at our continual improvement model and not being satisfied with where we are," Sutton said.
The technology-based exam tests students on their overall process of learning versus simply providing a correct answer.