L.A. Area Chamber Applauds State Schools for Steady Improvements, Looks Forward to Supporting More Growth


August 31, 2012 10:00 am

LOS ANGELES — Speaking on behalf of the L.A. Compact, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce congratulated state and local schools for consistently improving performances in the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program.

The L.A. Area Chamber acknowledged that overall performances must drastically improve, but emphasized the significance of the steady increases in proficiency taking place over time. For instance, statewide, students improved 22 percentage points in English, from 35 percent in 2003 to 57 percent and in math, students improved 16 percentage points from 35 percent to 51 percent. Similarly, LAUSD students improved by 18 percentage points in English, from 30 percent in 2006 to 48 percent.

“I’d like to congratulate our entire education community, from leaders like State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, to teachers, administrators, school staff, parents and students,” said L.A. Area Chamber Senior Vice President David Rattray.

Rattray oversees the Chamber’s education and workforce development efforts and was the convener of the L.A. Compact signed in 2010 by business, civic, education and nonprofit leaders. He gave credit to schools for gradually improving and said that from a business perspective, an organization that has continued improvements over a long period of time would be considered a good investment.

“You have statewide figures that show nine straight years of improvements for math and English exams, and LAUSD over the past five years has grown 18 points in English and 14 points in Math. Some might take that upward trend for granted but when you consider recent budget cuts, this is a school system that has been hit hard yet continues to improve.”

“As business leaders, we understand the link between the fate of our children and the fate of our economy, which is why the Chamber will continue to support investments in public education. Our ability to compete globally is at stake here.”

Rattray did note that less than 20 percent of high school students scored proficient or above on the math exam, and pointed to a developing L.A. County STEM Hub as a way to encourage students to focus more on math through career awareness.

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.


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