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STAR Results Make Walnut Creek Students Stars

Update: Walnut Creek results run 20 points and more ahead of state averages in results released Friday.

Update, Sept. 1, added results for four more schools.

Students in Walnut Creek were running 20 points and more ahead of state averages in a wide variety of subjects quantified in STAR test results the state made public Friday.

Overall, California students saw their results increase for the ninth straight year, according to the state's news release. An estimated 4.7 million students participated in the 2012 STAR program. STAR is Standardized Testing and Reporting.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said it was remarkable that students continue to make gains even as schools and their staff make do with deep budget cuts of recent years.

Statewide, 57 percent of students scored proficient or above in English Language Arts and 51 percent in math.

At Bancroft Elementary in the Mount Diablo Unified School District:

  • 78 percent of the second-graders scored proficient and above in English Language Arts, and 81 percent in math.
  • 68 percent of the third-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 87 percent in math.
  • 89 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 95 percent in math.
  • 76 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 75 percent in math.

See the full Bancroft Elementary results here.

At Valle Verde Elementary in MSUSD:

  • 86 percent of the second-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 86 percent in math.
  • 86 percent of the third-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 96 percent in math.
  • 95 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 92 percent in math.
  • 87 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 87 percent in math.

See the full Valle Verde results here.

At Walnut Acres Elementary in MDUSD,

  • 87 percent of second-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 84 percent in math.
  • 73 percent of third-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 93 percent in math.
  • 94 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 96 percent in math.
  • 87 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 85 percent in math.

See the full Walnut Acres results here.

At Foothill Middle School in the MDUSD,

  • 84 percent of sixth-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 79 percent in math.
  • 80 percent of seventh-graders scored proficient and above in ELA, and 79 percent in math.

See complete Foothill Middle School results here.


In the Walnut Creek School District, here are individual grade averages:

  • Second-graders: 76 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 82 percent in math.
  • Third-graders: 73 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 86 percent in math.
  • Fourth-graders: 90 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 88 percent in math.
  • Fifth-graders: 88 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 87 percent in math.
  • Sixth-graders: 85 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 75 percent in math.
  • Seventh-graders: 87 percent were proficient and above in ELA and 77 percent in math.

Walnut Creek School District breakdowns by grade of those tests plus science in grades 5, 8 and 10, eighth-grade history and eighth-grade Algebra I are here.

At Las Lomas High in the Acalanes Union High School District, the ninth-graders were 87 percent proficient and above in ELA; the 10th-graders were 82 percent; and the 11th graders 76 percent. Las Lomas breakdowns for algebra, geometry, history, life science, biology, chemistry and physics are here.

At Northgate High in the Mount Diablo Unified School District, the ninth-graders were 84 percent proficient and above in ELA; the 10th-graders were 73 percent; and the 11th-graders were 76 percent. Northgate High breakdowns for algebra, geometry, history, life science, biology, chemistry and physics are here.

For Walnut Creek students, compare these numbers to last year's totals in last year's Walnut Creek Patch STAR story.

JM Hogan August 31, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Walnut Acres Elementary, Bancroft Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary and Foothill Middle School are also in Walnut Creek. We are stars, too!
Lance Howland (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 08:46 PM
JM: You're right. That's an oversight. Sorry. Stars all over. I will add in those numbers later. -- Lance Howland, editor, Walnut Creek Patch
Deborah Burstyn September 01, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Good test scores for community schools equal good property values for your home. Support your local schools even if you do not have a child attending them. You benefit in many ways - better educated kids and a nicer community along with better return on investment for your home.
michael frederick September 01, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Lance, no problem. Many might confuse "Walnut Creek" School District with Walnut Creek -- just as they might assume "Walnut Creek" is a wholesome family-friendly brand with walnuts and a creek, instead of an upscale shopping mall featuring late-night adult entertainment... We've got a few confusing visions, such as city limit lines, that need clarification... Deborah, while institutional "partners" downtown concentrate promotion, with tax dollars, on their ability to attract redevelopment interest to the intersection of two freeways (they must be magicians) -- I think school test results are a much better barometer of progress. From San Ramon Valley to Lamorinda, there is a history of promoting young people that is pretty evident, even in communities not at the intersection of two freeways. Property values almost mirror school test results in surrounding communities -- Martinez might be the exception, due to the complication of its industrial nature(?) Hard evidence can be found in property values, as you mention. It's also worth mentioning that young people with a future are inspirational and a joy. Those without are something no one wants to experience or be around, as our history attests. Education is the best investment. I just drove my last child off to college, incidentally. The commentary isn't attributable to a need for funding my kid's education. It's been a staple of this community for many years. It works for all. 4th grade rocks! Keep it up.
JM Hogan September 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Thank you, Lance! I usually dread any headline talking about Walnut Creek schools, because it inevitably forgets about the other half of Walnut Creek. Thanks for taking the time to really make this about Walnut Creek schools!
Tammy Askins September 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM
How do I find the percentages for each of the grades for the 5 elementary schools located within the Walnut School District? The numbers presented lumps all 5 elementary schools together so it makes it difficult to know how each individual elementary school scored. Is there a way to obtain this information?
Monica September 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Tammy: follow one of the links to a school's results. Then follow the hyperlink to "return to test results search". From there, you can search the school of your choice.
One more time with feeling September 02, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Tammy, The "Walnut Creek School District" has Buena Vista, Murwood, Walnut Heights, Indian Valley and Parkmead Elementary Schools + Walnut Creek Intermediate School. Las Lomas High School is in the Acalanes School District. Also in Walnut Creek are Bancroft, Valle Verde, Walnut Acres and Eagle Peak Montessori Elementary; Foothill Middle and Northgate High schools. They are under the Mt Diablo Unified School district umbrella. Some believe that all public schools with a Walnut Creek address should be in a "Walnut Creek School District" rather than continue to split the community on school boundary lines. Others believe the schools will somehow be negatively impacted and are convinced that this lack of Walnut Creek K-12 school community continuity is OK. So far, the Walnut Creek City Council has done nothing to promote this community building effort. The School Districts do not want to do anything because it would be work for them to actually take action. The Concord developers want the status quo to remain so they can sell homes 7 miles away from the schools that can draw (while a school 2 miles away would make more sense for their attendance). Not an answer to your question - but something you need to know. Welcome to Walnut Creek.
Mom 2 Boys September 02, 2012 at 09:12 PM
One More Time...isn't there also an area of Walnut Creek that has kids attending Lafayette Elementary and an area bordering Alamo that has children in the San Ramon District? I remember home shopping years a go, it was quite confusing to find a home in the Walnut Creek School District. We ended up in Northgate and have always felt a little left out, but as long as the police and fire dept still respond to our calls, we won't complain too much...just grumble under our breath . : )
One more time with feeling September 03, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Hi Mom 2 Boys! Walnut Creek children attending Lafayette schools... The downloadable map is not very good http://www.lafsd.k12.ca.us/schoolboundaries Springhill and maybe Burton Valley. Walnut Creek children attending San Ramon Valley Unified School District Schools - Alamo... looks like a little pocket http://srvusd.ca.schoolloop.com/file/1280584351915/1275747792896/4859563643277369375.pdf I think these boundaries are as absurd as the MDUSD campuses with Walnut Creek addresses not being part of WCSD. I agree with your sentiment on WCPD response - the best. In case you were not aware, Walnut Creek has no Fire Department - that is the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. And they are outstanding. "We" went through Walnut Creek addressed, MDUSD, elementary and middle schools and Northgate High School, too. All were - are - great schools in spite of MDUSD's lack of attention. I never felt "left out" because of WCSD activities. I continue to find it odd and disappointing that the Walnut Creek City Council and School districts are compelled to not allow a singular community by supporting a singular school district. WC City Council talks "world class" but in this key to "building community", they fail miserably.
consider both sides September 04, 2012 at 02:04 AM
One more time, when I bought my house I paid about 20% more to purchase in the WCSD/Acalanes district. Honestly, we are one community....to the kids it doesn't matter if you go to Walnut Acres or Walnut Heights they all play on the same soccer teams etc. To me, having paid more for my home specifically for the school district and having paid and supported a parcel tax to keep our district strong, it doesn't seem fair that by including Northgate in the WCSD that my property value would be adversely effected due to more homes in the district to meet demand. It isn't as simple as you think. Many cities are serviced by multiple districts, Walnut Creek isn't unique. People buy homes based upon the things that are important to them, including school district hence property values vary.
michael frederick September 04, 2012 at 07:50 PM
consider both sides, That's the point -- there should only be one side. You spent 20% more??? Test scores at Northgate and its feeder schools are very competitive. What's impressive is that this gets accomplished DESPITE being in the MDUSD... I don't view the inclusion of such motivated people as a negative. I'd expect them to flourish in WCPD and participate even more, as that participation would be less diluted through share the wealth captivity. Doubling the bureaucracy and marrying two dissimilar ones is an issue. My main concern, however, revolves around promoting increased indiscriminate redevelopment in WCSD backyards to fund YV education. There's a huge disconnect here between redevelopment fruit and pain that actually encourages division. I support unification. However, this only happens if people are sincere in promoting it and education is not an example of cherry-picking, to be segregated as you do in your argument. It has to be accompanied by political reform -- specifically, visions from downtown that relate to the people of WC generally, not just the handful who profit by building the snot out of it. I finally did write to Kristina Lawson to describe the historical divisions within this community that persist. Basically, Isabelle Spencer's NATURE perspective that covers 1850-1950 and Rovanpera's CIVIL ENGINEERING celebration of 1950-present. We need to get back to honest 1850-present visions that focus on PEOPLE.
michael frederick September 04, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Mom 2 Boys, I hope you enjoy a little history. I'll forego the Lafayette and Pleasant Hill bounded stuff except to say that I believe you are correct. A significant portion of this was my great-great grandfather's ranch and I believe his sister, Luisa, was one of PH's first school teachers in the 1860s. The stuff at the end of Rudgear is even more fun. This was my great-uncle's cattle ranch. These subdivisions were formed and became a part of WC ~1972. The street names inside WC that attend Alamo Elementary have names like "Appaloosa" -- he had 18 of them, exclusively, in 1972 ... There is no "Quarter Horse Lane" or "Pinto Pony Court" to suggest otherwise.
Mom 2 Boys September 05, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Thank you, One more Time. Yes, I realized later the fire dept is it's own district. I am a huge fan of the Walnut Creek PD! I was very amused by the post that mentions paying an extra 20% to buy a home in the WC school dist--we already paid 3/4 of a million dollars for Northgate. We realized long ago this town has little interest in investing in one school district, but would much rather squeeze MORE shopping venues into any available lot. We don't need more schools, we need more stores! LOL! I love our Northgate neighborhood, our schools and our easy access to services. So glad to be far from the maddening crowd downtown. Remember what our NGHS principal says in every phone message he sends out, "It's a great day to be a Bronco!"
Mom 2 Boys September 05, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I always enjoy your posts, Michael...ESP the history lessons! Keep 'Em coming!

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