Let's start with academic achievement. Over the last few years, test scores have consistently improved across the district and within each student subgroup. For example, between 2007 and 2009, our third grade math scores improved from 381 to 413, and the percent of third graders who scored proficient or advanced in math increased from 60 percent to 73 percent. Those are significant gains in a two-year period. We still have work to do, but if Maurice and his team are able to continue the current pace of improvement over the next several years, the result will be meaningful and dramatic improvements in academic achievement for all our students.
Turning to leadership, three years ago Maurice implemented a district-wide Continuous Improvement program to create a culture of accountability. Under the CI program, each school establishes specific one-year and three-year goals based on measurable data. Progress is monitored by the School Site Councils on a quarterly basis, and necessary adjustments are made if goals are not being met. When I talk to teachers about the program, I see a high level of buy-in and commitment to meeting the goals.
I'm sure it's not easy being in education these days, with a constant stream of bad press and budget cuts. Unfortunately, many educators take on a victim mentality and point to funding cuts to justify mediocre performance. Maurice and his team are not about complaining or making excuses. They planned ahead for the current financial downturn, they have set aggressive goals, and they seem committed to continuing to move the Mountain View Whisman School District in a positive direction.
I don't know Maurice on a personal level, but I have seen first hand that he is making positive things happen for our students and in our schools. I ask that, regardless of your views on his personal life, you continue to support Maurice as our school superintendent.