Today’s California Department of Education (CDE) report on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (commonly known as Smarter Balanced or SBAC) results show that for the 2018-19 school year, the percentage of students in the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (the Partnership) network meeting or exceeding English Language Arts (ELA) standards grew by four percentage points. The percentage of Partnership students meeting or exceeding math standards increased by three percentage points. The Partnership’s results compare favorably to the state’s one percentage point growth in ELA and one percentage point growth in math for 2018-19.
The CDE data also show that since the SBAC tests were administered in California in 2015, the Partnerships network* achieved a 19-point increase in ELA — which is more than double the state’s growth of seven points — and a 12-point increase in math, nearly double the state’s growth of seven points.
The Partnership, which is not a charter network, is one of the nation’s largest, in-district school transformation organizations. It manages a network of 18 high-need, traditional Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified) public schools with approximately 13,500 students in Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles and Watts.
Our networks steady growth in English and math proficiency since the inception of Smarter Balanced is indeed encouraging, says Joan Sullivan, chief executive officer of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. And we are deeply grateful to our educators, parents and partners, especially LA Unified, for their hard work alongside us as we prepare students at every grade level to get to and through college.
The Partnership continues to close achievement and opportunity gaps for thousands of our districts most deserving students each year, and we are grateful, adds Monica Garcia, LA Unified District 2 board member. We applaud the deep investments they make in school, teacher, and parent leaders. The Partnerships work goes a long way toward helping our district ensure every child is prepared to get to and through college.
Were incredibly proud that our network has more students than ever on track for college completion with key indicators that predict college success, says Ian Guidera, the Partnerships chief academic officer. For example, for 2018-19 English results, the Partnership had one of the top 10** fastest growing elementary schools (Ritter Elementary), two of the top 10** fastest growing middle schools (Carver Middle and Hollenbeck Middle), and the third highest performing high school (Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School, or MSTMA) in the entire district. In math, the Partnership had one of the top 10** fastest growing elementary schools (Grape Street Elementary), one of the top 10** fastest growing middle schools (Markham Middle) and the fourth highest performing high school (MSTMA) in LA Unified.
But we arent satisfied, Sullivan adds. We recognize that true success is only possible when every single one of the students in our network and district is thriving. And we know that test scores alone dont define success. So with the help of parents, educators, and other valued partners, we continue to work toward ensuring Partnership schools support the whole child.
To advance holistic learning and college and career preparedness, in 2018-19 the Partnership increased school-based partnerships with Childrens Institute, Communities in Schools, City Year Los Angeles, and Playworks, which join more than 100 additional partners who work with our schools providing critical supports. In 2019-20, the Partnership will be expanding its College Compass college access program to all 18 schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition, more than 1,600 parents and family members attended our signature Parent College in 2018-19, bringing the total number of families we have helped empower through the program to 8,600 since 2008.
We were extremely pleased to expand our support from three to six Partnership schools this school year, says Deborah Marcus, executive director of Communities in Schools, and we hope to add additional schools in 2020-21. Working together with the Partnership, we provide important social-emotional supports to students, and we help school leadership and staff connect students and families with community resources that address both academic and nonacademic needs, allowing students to show up healthy, safe, and prepared to learn. We applaud the Partnerships mission and their efforts to bring a high-quality education to under-resourced students in high-need schools.
Dr. Perry Crouch, education chair for the Watts Gang Task Force, says the Partnership continues to strengthen relationships with community-based groups to ensure community partners are contributing to the successful education of all students. The Partnership is helping to achieve an equitable and quality education for all students, says Dr. Crouch, and it is empowering communities to play a strong role in making sure students get the best education possible. The Partnership is having a tremendous impact on our schools in Watts, and we are thankful for their leadership.
Below are SBAC highlights by grade level for Partnership schools:
- Grape Street Elementary grew by 12 percentage points in ELA and 14 points in math, placing it in the top five percent of ELA and math growth of all LA Unified elementary schools.
- Ritter Elementary grew by 13 percentage points and Figueroa Street Elementary grew by nine percentage points in ELA, placing them in the top five percent of ELA growth of all LA Unified elementary schools.
- From 2014-15 to 2018-19, Partnership elementary schools* grew by 18 percentage points in ELA and 14 points in math, compared to the states elementary schools, which grew by nine points in both ELA and math.
- George Washington Carver Middle School and Hollenbeck Middle School each grew by six percentage points in ELA, placing them in the top 10 percent in ELA growth of all LA Unified middle schools.
- Edwin Markham Middle School grew by four percentage points in math, placing it in the top 15 percent in math growth of all LA Unified middle schools.
- From 2014-15 to 2018-19, Partnership middle schools grew by 18 percentage points in ELA and 10 points in math, in comparison to the states middle schools, which have grown by six points in ELA and four points in math.
- Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt (MSTMA) is LA Unifieds third highest performing high school in ELA.
- MSTMA also is the fourth highest performing high school in math, and with nine percentage points of growth in math, MSTMA was among the top 10 fastest growing LA Unified high schools.
- From 2014-15 to 2018-19, Partnership high schools have grown by 20 percentage points in ELA and nine points in math, compared to the states high schools, which have grown by one point in ELA and two points in math.
About the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
Launched in 2007, the Partnership is a nonprofit organization that serves 13,500 students across 18 K-12 campuses in Watts, Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles, California. The Partnership is one of the largest, in-district public school transformation organizations in the U.S., and its model combines the rigor and innovation of instructional leadership programs with authentic community partnerships and family engagement to transform district public schools and lead system-wide reforms. The Partnership is not a charter organization. As an in-district partner, the Partnership works within the Los Angeles Unified School District context, which includes honoring all collective bargaining agreements for its teachers and school staff.
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*Grape Street Elementary, 20th Street Elementary, and 107th Street Elementary joined the Partnership after the first year of available Smarter Balanced results in 2014-15 and are not included in 2014-15 Partnership averages.
**Growth data for elementary and middle schools from 2017-18 to 2018-19 include rank ties.
Note: Growth rankings do not include schools that span multiple levels (e.g., K-12 schools), continuation, community day, special education, or opportunity schools, due to differences in student population and self-selection into special programs. In total, these schools make up 10 percent of LA Unified schools and seven percent of students tested in LA Unified.