First Graders Excel on Reading, Math Tests

First graders in the Long Beach Unified School District have just turned in the highest test scores in a decade. Recently completing the SAT9 nationally normed achievement tests, the traditional calendar students scored at the 71st percentile in both reading and mathematics, a significant increase over last year. In 2001, their counterparts scored at the 69th percentile in reading and the 67th percentile in math. "We are encouraged by the steady increases our schools are making," said Lynn Winters, assistant superintendent for research. "These scores are impressive. They reflect the hard work and dedication of our teachers, students and schools." The national grade percentile ranks on specific subtests confirm their strong showing: word study skills, 74th percentile; reading comprehension, 70th percentile; word reading, 67th percentile; math problem solving, 66th percentile; and math procedures, 74th percentile. These skills should prepare the first graders to excel as they move up through the grades. "Our first graders rank in the top third and are approaching the top fourth of students in the U.S.," said Winters. "That's exciting." Year-round schools' results on the same tests will be compiled in the fall. They are expected to show similar gains.