Idyllwild School again led the Hemet Unified School District’s performance on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The state exam was given last spring. The State Department of Education released individual school results last week.

The tests are English language arts and mathematics. The percentage of Idyllwild School students in all grades who met or exceeded the standards increased 3 percent for both subjects. In the whole Hemet district, for all students, the 2017 performance results declined slightly. Statewide, the similar results were about steady with 2016.

Idyllwild School easily led the HUSD results. More than 67 percent of the Idyllwild students in grades three through eight met or exceeded the English language standards. Harmony Elementary had 49 percent of its students achieve the same levels. In the entire HUSD, 37 percent of the tested students met or exceeded the English standards.

For mathematics, the overall results were similar. Nearly 55 percent of the Idyllwild students (grades three through eight) met or exceeded the math standards, compared to 23 percent of the whole district and 37.5 percent for the whole state.

At Idyllwild School, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the test standards has increased in both 2016 and 2017 from the previous year. And in both years, the percentage has been greater than 50 percent.

However, HUSD saw the percentage of students meeting or exceeding these standards in the whole district decline in 2017 compared to last year. At the state level, there was a slight increase, but at both the district and state levels, the percentages were below 50 percent. For math, the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards was only 23 percent less than a year ago. The English language results also declined.

These results are disconcerting to some throughout the state, who felt the growth in state educational funding over the past five years and greater control of these funds at the local level would produce better results.

At Hemet High School, 56 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded the English language standards, but that was 11 percent less than in 2016. The math results were similar. In 2017, only 20 percent met or exceeded standards compared to 31 percent in 2016.

The tests consist of two parts: a computer adaptive assessment and a performance task. The computer assessment bases follow-up questions on a student’s answers in real time and gives a more accurate picture of progress than paper-and-pencil, multiple choice tests. If a student answers a question correctly, they get a more difficult question. If they answer incorrectly, they get an easier question.

The performance task challenges students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to problems in a real-world setting. The two parts measure depth of understanding, writing, research and problem-solving skills more thoroughly than the previous multiple-choice paper tests.