ARCADIA, CA — Southern California students continue to make modest gains on state standardized tests, although only half of them met or exceeded the state standard in English and less than half met or exceeded it in math, according to scores released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.
The performance of Los Angeles County and Orange County students on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress tests generally mirrored that of students statewide, according to the department.
The CAASPP tests were administered in the spring to more than 3 million students across the state in grades 3-8 and 11.
Statewide, 22.23 percent exceeded the standard in English, while 28.64 met it, 22.4 nearly met it and 26.73 failed to meet it. In math, 19.69 exceeded the standard, 20.04 met it, 25.41 nearly met it and 34.86 failed to meet it. The statewide scores were all also moderately improved from the previous year.
In Los Angeles County, 21.73 percent of the more than 740,000 students who took the tests exceeded the state standard in English, up from 20.58 percent the previous year. According to the state, 28.48 percent met the standard, up slightly from 28.35 percent last year; while 22.65 percent “nearly” met the standard, down from 22.84 percent last year; and 27.14 percent failed to meet it, down from 28.23 percent last year.
In math, 19.15 percent exceeded the standard, 19.96 met it, 25.42 nearly met it and 35.48 failed to meet it. The percentages from the previous year were 17.66, 19.8, 26.04 and 36.5, respectively.
The Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second-largest — showed across-the-board year-over-year gains, but students continued to lag behind their counterparts across the state. According to state figures, 17.73% of LAUSD students exceeded the standard in English, 26.17% met it, 23.45% nearly met it and 32.65% failed to meet it. In math, 15.08% exceeded the standard, 18.39% met it, 25.83% nearly met it and 40.7% failed to meet it.
In Orange County, 29.82 percent of students exceeded the state standard in English, while 29.66 percent met it, 19.74 percent nearly met it and 20.78 percent failed to meet it. In math, 28.53 percent exceeded the standard, 21.91 percent met it, 23.03 percent nearly met it and 26.54 percent failed to meet it. The figures all reflected slight improvements over the previous year.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond acknowledged the overall improvement, but said he was concerned that gains were less consistent in later grades of 7, 8 and 11, while performance continues to lag among some students of color.
“Disparities between students of color and their white and Asian peers continue from year to year and demonstrate the importance of our priority initiative of closing the achievement gap,” Thurmond said in a statement. “Education equity should mean equity for all students and right now, we are not there. All students should have an equal opportunity to succeed academically and enter the workforce prepared with the needed skills to compete in the industries that drive our state forward.”