The state Department of Education has released school scores for a test of eighth-graders' writing ability in the 1987-88 academic year.
Overall, California's eighth graders made modest gains over last year.
The 1987-88 statewide average on the California Assessment Program direct writing exam was 256, six points higher than the 1986-87 average of 250. That meant that, although they are gradually improving, most eighth graders are fair to marginally adequate writers, state education officials said.
Below are scores for schools in Ventura County. Officials offer these guidelines on how to read them:
The scores are scaled between about 100 and 400 and allow comparisons with the state average of 256.
A different group of eighth graders is tested each year, which could account for large jumps or drops in scores. Other factors are changes in socioeconomic status. For instance, an influx of students whose parents have a high level of education could result in higher scores.
In addition, state officials said, the 1987-88 test was more demanding than the previous year's exam. The latest exam required students to be prepared to write six, as opposed to four, types of essays. The two new types of writing added were a biographical sketch and a story. The other categories were autobiography, evaluation, informative report and description of a problem and solution.