California students are failing to meet reading and math standardized test requirements, according to data released by the California Department of Education, or CDE, on Wednesday.
An average of 50.87% of California students met or exceeded English standards, while only 39.73% met or exceeded math requirements statewide, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP report said. The CAASPP provides assessments at the state, county and school district levels.
“Statewide on average, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English/math performance has continued to improve slightly overall over last year,” said Jonathan Mendick, spokesperson for CDE, in an email. “The trend has been that both math and English scores have improved over the past five years.”
Berkeley students have proven to be above the state average with students exceeding and meeting standards in both subjects, according to the CAASPP Berkeley Unified School District, or BUSD, report.
The importance of communication, especially between teachers, parents and students, was emphasized in an official BUSD statement on the report.
“Since each student improves daily, families are urged to maintain regular communication with teachers,” the statement said. “Student work, periodic report cards, local and state assessments are all important tools in keeping families informed about how their student is progressing in school.”
Scores were even lower for students who are “economically disadvantaged,” according to the report. The report showed Black students in the economically disadvantaged category are furthest behind statewide averages with only about 16.14% meeting math standards and 27.45% meeting English standards.
In an effort to help combat this educational barrier, CA superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond and a team have been “meeting regularly and talking about achievement gaps,” Mendick said in an email.
“The CDE can work with all educational stakeholders to identify strategies and then explore legislative efforts to support the needs of local districts and provide resources to improve test scores,” Thurmond said in a statement.
Thurmond launched the Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative in February with the main goal of “closing the gap for African Americans and other students of color,” according to the statement.
Joining Thurmond’s team is Elisha Smith Arrillaga as the co-chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative.
“I’m thrilled to join my fellow co-chairs and serve the Superintendent and the state’s families and students in this way,” Arrillaga said in the statement. “Fighting for equity and justice in education is a continuation of a longstanding movement to align our actions with our values, and I look forward to ensuring those most impacted by this work have a sustained and supported seat at the table.”