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Schools Chief Reports Gains in Basic Skills

September 02, 1986|United Press International

SACRAMENTO — State schools chief Bill Honig opened the 1986-87 academic year today by releasing annual student evaluations showing continued improvement in reading, writing and mathematics for all three grade levels tested.

Third-, sixth- and eighth-graders who took the California Assessment Program tests last spring showed solid gains in the basic subjects, he said.

The report was timed to coincide with the return to school of the state's more than 4 million students.

"Our educational reform efforts have kindled a spirit of enthusiasm and optimism as we start this new school year--the fourth year of the reform movement," Honig said. Sixth-graders showed the greatest improvement over 1984-85, with a seven-point gain in reading to 260 points, a seven-point gain in math to 271 and a three-point gain in writing to 268. It was the second straight year of significant growth for sixth-graders after a slight slowdown in 1983-84.

Third-graders continued an improvement begun in the last decade by gaining six points in reading to 280, six points in writing to 285, and five points in math to 283.

Eighth-graders, tested for only the third year, gained three points in reading to 243, two points in writing to 248, and two points in math to 253. However, in the second year of testing for history-social science they showed a seven-point decline to 243.

Bennett urges longer school year. Page 2.

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