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Sample Essay Question

January 17, 1991

This is a sample of one of the eight different types of essay questions that make up the California Asssessment Program's writing test for eighth graders. Each student is assigned one type of writing task and the grades on all work done by students at a given school are combined to give the school a single "scaled score." All essays must be completed within 45 minutes, and they are graded for thinking and writing process skills as well as for such mechanics of writing as spelling and grammar.

Writing Situation: Your English class is putting together a project about incidents that individual class members have experienced at school. Think of a memorable incident that you would like to include in this class collection. It might be an incident that made you feel a sense of belonging at the school, a funny situation, an embarrassing one, or any incident that is memorable to you.

Directions for Writing: Write about an incident that you have experienced at school. Things to consider include what was involved, what the people and surroundings looked like, what exactly happened, and how you felt about the incident. Try to make your readers, your classmates, and your teacher understand why this particular event is memorable.

HOW TO READ THE SCORES

Here are California Assessment Program writing scores earned by eighth graders in some Los Angeles County public schools last spring.

The previous year's scores also are provided for comparison purposes, although CAP officials warn against reading too much into one-year variations.

The scaled score is a combination of results on each of the various types of writing tasks assigned. The average score in the state was 259, up four points over last year's score, while the average for students in Los Angeles County schools was 236, representing a six-point rise.

Relative rank is a way to compare a district or a school with another that is similar in terms of student socioeconomic makeup and students' ability to speak, read and write English fluently as well as how often those students move from school to school. The value listed is the school's percentile rank within its comparison group.

State rank shows the school or district's ranking (on a score of 1 to 99), comparing its scores to those of every other school or district in California.

Beverly Hills Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 326 72 94 88-89 346 84 97

BEVERLY VISTA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 310 52 87 88-89 338 77 95

EL RODEO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 343 82 96 88-89 347 84 96

HAWTHORNE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 280 19 67 88-89 338 77 95

HORACE MANN

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 370 94 98 88-89 360 91 98

Culver City Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 283 58 73 88-89 266 46 61

CULVER CITY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 283 58 70 88-89 266 46 61

Los Angeles Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 208 30 15 88-89 202 21 16

BANCROFT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 224 37 23 88-89 202 27 14

BURROUGHS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 287 74 73 88-89 275 32 67

EMERSON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 248 14 41 88-89 237 8 35

LE CONTE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 210 47 15 88-89 198 33 12

MARINA DEL REY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 220 50 20 88-89 197 25 12

MARK TWAIN

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 207 29 13 88-89 227 40 27

MT. VERNON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 158 7 2 88-89 166 9 3

PALMS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 254 27 46 88-89 293 33 81

REVERE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 257 20 49 88-89 263 47 59

WEBSTER

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 198 11 10 88-89 221 21 22

WRIGHT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 226 1 25 88-89 230 1 29

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 298 71 81 88-89 279 40 73

ADAMS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 247 52 41 88-89 227 9 27

LINCOLN

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 330 72 93 88-89 314 56 89

CABRILLO/MALIBU PARK

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 346 96 96 88-89 311 60 89

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