Letter From Craig Young

I am responding to Carolyn Schuk’s “Education Desk: March 20, 2103” [sic] article about the progress of students within the Santa Clara Unified School District. While I don’t dispute the impacts of education and social services budget cuts on our students lives, as described in the article, Ms. Schuk failed to draw attention to one essential piece of information: in 2008, the proficiency targets (AMO targets) started increasing, as required by No Child Left Behind. Actual proficiency (as measured by the CST tests) INCREASED for every single subgroup in that table for nearly every year from 2008 to 2012. While the table is increasingly shaded gray, it is because the proficiency targets are increasing, not that the percentage of proficient students is dropping. Ms. Schuk’s statement that “student progress starts dropping in 2008-2009” is only defensible in relation to the unrealistic increase in AMO targets. Those targets, by the way, would require that 100% of students be proficient in core subjects by the end of next school year (2014), a target that many states, including California, have applied to have waived by the federal government.