Significant Growth in Reading for Underserved Students
Key Changes in Palo Alto Result in Significant Growth for Historically Underserved Students
Palo Alto, CA—The Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), ranked number one by Niche in California and nationally for districts with more than 10,000 students, proudly announces significant growth in reading scores for its historically underserved student populations.
This progress highlights PAUSD’s intentional actions under the district’s Every Student Reads Initiative (ESRI), launched in 2021. This Initiative underscores the district's commitment to ensure ALL students achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade.
New state results from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English Language Arts spotlight PAUSD's remarkable third-grade growth, attributing success to high-quality instruction and a strong emphasis on early literacy. Groups of students exceeding within the district include:
- English Learners reported a 10 percentage-point growth.
Hispanic or Latino students witnessed a commendable 18 percentage-point surge.
Socio-Economically Disadvantaged students grew by 12 percentage points, with the Hispanic or Latino subset also observing an 18 percentage-point increase.
In the district's pursuit to eliminate disparities in early literacy development, key changes have been instituted. This includes adopting the Orton Gillingham methodology for reading in grades TK-3, professional learning sessions, curriculum adoption, and revised assessment tools aligning with the CAASPP. Such strategic changes in curriculum, assessment, and instructional practices have set the district on a trajectory of continued success.
The district will present a comprehensive update on ESRI's CAASPP results for Progress Indicator Two to the Board on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. The California Department of Education will also release full assessment and accountability results in the coming months.
PAUSD remains resolutely committed to harnessing its unique resources to support every student's success. By focusing on systems that impact early literacy development, leveraging data analysis, and continuously reviewing progress, PAUSD is poised to set new benchmarks in education.