Ready to be tested

Pep rally at Mann Elementary urges kids to do well on API.

May 11, 2010|By Zain Shauk

A marching band, cheerleaders and public officials stirred Mann Elementary School students into a frenzy of cheers Monday in anticipation of a week of standardized tests.

Visiting speakers pushed the students to aim for a target of 825 points out of 1,000 on the exams, which begin Tuesday.

“Let’s hear it,” Al Ferrara, a former Dodger outfielder and invited inspirational speaker, told the crowd of cheering students on the Mann blacktop. “We’re going to do 825!”


The encouragement was part of an effort at the school and across the Glendale Unified School District to increase standardized test scores, which are already above the state’s benchmark of 800.

The district’s average Academic Performance Index score is 830, with 24 out of 28 schools exceeding the state’s 800-point target.

High test scores improve the district’s standing statewide and among parents, which makes efforts to promote strong results, like the rally at Mann on Monday, particularly important, said school board President Mary Boger.

“It says so much to the parents that are looking at this school,” Boger said.

The district has attracted new students with special language programs or strong academic performance on standardized tests, which has helped bring in funding as the overall student population has declined.

Mann has experienced significant improvement in its scores, passing the 800-point mark a year ago with a score of 803 after six consecutive years of gains, Boger said.

That improvement from a score of 689 in 2004 was likely a result of a continuing focus on test scores with the help of rallies like the one Monday, said school board member Joylene Wagner.

“It seems to be working,” Wagner said. “They have developed such a positive spirit here.”

Students stood and cheered with noisemakers as members of the Glendale fire and police departments spoke about the importance of improving test scores. Members of the Glendale High School football team and cheerleading squad also attended the event and offered words of encouragement to the group.

Students were most excited by a marching band performance from a group of college students, they said.

Adrianna Figueroa, 9, said she was excited by the event and hoped to follow the example of a Mann student a year ago who earned the highest score at the school.

“Maybe I can get a high score,” she said.

The celebration before the start of testing was a good kickoff event, 9-year-old Andie Rodeo said.

“Before a long week of testing, we get to celebrate,” she said.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles