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Students Across L.A. Face Challenges from Pandemic yet these Latinx, Black, and Recently Immigrated Middle and High Schools Continue to Outperform Neighboring Schools

Despite 95% coming from low-income families and three grades or more behind, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools scholars are now 10-15% more proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) and math than more affluent L.A. County and California public school students.

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is pleased to share that, according to data from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the network’s scholars continue to thrive and outperform neighboring schools.

Despite recent challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, all 26 Alliance campuses are seeing consistent growth in student learning. This is thanks, in part, to Alliance’s renewed focus on core instructional practices in the classroom, including our Graduate Profile, as well as continued attention to scholar and adult wellness.

“On every Alliance campus, our scholars, our staff, and our school communities come first. Full stop.” Says Alliance CEO Pablo Villavicencio, “While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, these CAASPP results show that our high school students are outperforming their neighborhood peers in ELA by over 15 points. While we know that data is important, we continue to focus on the bigger picture: academic readiness, confidence, and better outcomes for our scholars through college and beyond.”

Despite entering 3 or more grade levels behind, 95% of Alliance scholars graduate high school and 96% of those graduates are accepted to college. Additionally, the schools are leading in performance for ELA, which is not a small feat given that 13% of Alliance scholars are English learners. Alliance schools are also outperforming in every other comparison point, including continuing to see growth in math scores. This is despite scholars coming in less proficient than LAUSD school students.

“There is no one magic puzzle piece, but I hope this will be viewed as confidence that what we are doing is making a difference for our scholars and their families, and with the foundation back underneath us, we can get back to running so that our scholars can go further, faster,” said Rudy Elizondo, Alliance Chief Instructional Officer.

A combination of approaches is making a difference in the lives of over 12,000 scholars. With a concerted effort to listen to other school leader’s experiences on how to address learning issues, and gathering input from educators and parents, Alliance is supporting their scholars through curriculum, investment in coaching, and the development of math teachers. This includes offering more frequent and smaller tutoring sessions, known as ‘high dosage tutoring,’ an expensive, but effective technique. Alliance is also a leader across Los Angeles in teacher compensation and benefits, and has begun to allow more planning time for educators to better address learning gaps.

Alliance middle school scholars experience rapid growth with each rising grade while student learning across L.A. County plateaus or declines. While Alliance scholars’ academic starting points are significantly lower than LAUSD and county, specifically for ELA, we see 6th to 8th graders’ competency growing. By the time scholars are in 8th grade, Alliance is on par with LAUSD students and are significantly out performing neighborhood schools.

The work starts with the middle schools creating a strong foundation for scholars to learn and grow. While other schools see stagnation by 8th grade, according to SBAC, state assessment and data for the 2022-23 school year, Alliance middle schools are seeing improvement in ELA and math by 7% and 2% respectively. Meanwhile, neighboring schools are plateauing or even decreasing in these subjects, with some, such as LAUSD schools’ proficiency declining by as much as 4% from 6th to 8th grade.

Alliance high school scholars also outperform LAUSD and neighborhood schools in ELA and math.
Thanks to both the collective efforts of their middle schools preparing scholars and the hard work of educators, Alliance high schools are also seeing the impacts of the school system’s efforts magnified.

While there is still a lot of work to do, given that Alliance high school scholars are coming in at 19% proficiency in math, there is definite advancement, especially given the starting point. The needle is moving for Alliance, yet other schools are heading in the opposite direction. Scholars from Alliance high schools are now 10-15% more proficient in ELA and 5-10% more proficient in math than LAUSD and neighboring schools.  

The scale of the math dilemma is a national issue, but especially challenging for incoming Alliance scholars. Math skills are foundationally built year over year, making it difficult to reteach in a way that ELA more naturally lends itself. Alliance is committed to pouring in more resources and outside-of-the-box thinking to address this challenge, with a continued investment in coaching and building the capacity of schools to use data to inform this reteaching.

Scholars defy the odds through resilience, dedication, and the solid foundation of their Alliance education. Each year, the CAASPP results help inform Alliance’s future instructional strategies to better serve our scholars, 94% of whom are considered low-income and qualify for free or reduced lunch. Yet Alliance scholars are consistently testing higher in comparison to other schools in both ELA and math despite the larger than average 13% population of English Learners across the network. This is due to the continued commitment of Alliance and the solid foundation of their education along with dedicated teachers, support from families and the community, and the resilience and hard work of the scholars themselves.

“Overall, we show a clear upward trend in both growth and attainment for our scholars and a direct juxtaposition to the stagnant, and in some cases, declining performance of neighborhood schools, LAUSD, and the county,” added Rudy Elizondo, Chief Instructional Officer. 

About Alliance
Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is one of the largest and most successful nonprofit public charter school networks in the nation, operating 26 high-performing, public charter middle and high schools that educate nearly 13,000 scholars from Los Angeles’ most underserved communities.

Alliance schools have been recognized as among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, the U.S. Department of Education, and the California Department of Education. Since opening our first school in 2004, 95% of Alliance scholars have graduated from high school and been accepted to college. We strive to uplift our scholars and their communities by fostering unparalleled educational opportunities that encourage scholarly thought, resilient learning, powerful communication, mind-body wellness, and community advocacy. To learn more, visit www.LAalliance.org.

SOURCE Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/students-across-la-face-challenges-from-pandemic-yet-these-latinx-black-and-recently-immigrated-middle-and-high-schools-continue-to-outperform-neighboring-schools-302037485.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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