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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / East County | Moorpark

Low-Scoring School Praised by Parents

September 29, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

Despite test scores that ranked among the lowest in the district, parents responding to a survey about curriculum at Peach Hill Elementary said they were satisfied with the way their children are taught.

Results from the survey were read at the Tuesday night meeting of the Moorpark school board. They showed that one-third of those who responded ranked the overall academic program at the school as excellent. About half of the parents who responded viewed the quality of education at Peach Hill as good.

The questionnaire sought input about improving services at the school.

Moorpark Unified School District Supt. Frank DePasquale ordered the survey after several Peach Hill parents complained about the school's low ranking on the 1999 Stanford 9 test. They argued that too many classes were taught in Spanish and not English.

The survey questions did not address low test scores or bilingual education but were used to gauge parents' overall perception of the school, DePasquale said.

"In general, results were very positive," he said. "There are issues we are working on at the school."

Some parents expressed concern the school had become too specialized, spending too much time on Spanish instruction and not enough on English-language subjects.

About 43% of Peach Hill's students are Latino and 35% are still learning English, said Principal Marilyn Eubanks.

The nine questions focused on parents' happiness with the quality of education and what additional programs should be offered.

Of the 467 surveys sent, 207 were returned, including 61 written in Spanish.

Eubanks also called the results good news and said the school's academic performance should be judged on more than just the annual Stanford 9 test.

According to a summary released at the meeting, parents most liked the school's bus transportation, followed by reading, writing and phonics. Though the study appeared promising, school board member David Pollock said in an earlier interview that Peach Hill's larger problems would not be "swept under the carpet."

"We're we're very aware of the lack of confidence in the instructional program," he said.

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