Norwalk-La Mirada Unified students showed improvement during the second round of standardized testing on the new California Standards for English language arts (ELA) and math, according to a new state report.

The two tests are the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), administered to grades three through eight, and grade 11. The exams, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, gauge writing, critical thinking and problem solving skills far beyond the scope of California’s previous standardized tests.

“Our students are showing great improvements on the Smarter Balanced tests, and we are using the results as a measure of how we can enhance our curriculum and programs to ensure that all of our students continue to be successful,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said.

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified students met or exceeded state proficiency standards up to 4 percentage points. Additionally, NLMUSD students matched or beat most L.A. County district subgroups in ELA, while third-grade students’ math scores exceeded L.A. County districts in most subgroups, and were especially strong for African-American students and students with disabilities.

This year, NLMUSD will begin implementing a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) to ensure that struggling students receive the personalized instruction they need to prevent them from falling behind their classmates. The MTSS, endorsed by the California Department of Education, consists of three tiers of education:

  • First tier: generalized education for the entire student body with teachers providing research-based best practices and the latest technological tools.
  • Second tier: intervention for students who are not responding well or are falling behind.
  • Third tier: intensified support for students who are underachieving.

In August, NLMUSD launched the first phase of its 2020 Learning Initiative by making laptop computers and tablets available to second-, fourth-, sixth- and ninth-grade students. Programs will be made available to track individual student progress for teachers to pinpoint and address student needs.

“Our CAASPP scores show that our District is showing positive gains overall in helping our student become college and career ready,” NLMUSD Board President Karen Morrison said. “By utilizing a multi-tiered system of support and increasing our connectivity throughout the district, we are providing our students high-quality instruction that will allow them to fulfill their potential.”