California’s Overall Academic Achievement Lags Far Behind Other States

It has become clear that whatever measure you use, the academic outcomes for California’s students are alarmingly poor and demonstrate significant gaps in academic achievement, both between California’s children and the rest of the country, and between groups of students within our own state. Below are some highlights that demonstrate this but you can learn more about this concerning trend here.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the nation’s report card, academic outcomes for California’s students are not good. In reading, math and science in both 4th and 8th grade, more than 7 out of 10 students have not demonstrated competency in the subject.

 

California’s Low Performance is Even Worse When You Look at Subgroups of Students

For example, according to NAEP, in 2015 California was last (51 out of 51) for 4th grade math scores for students eligible for free and reduced price lunch (FRPM).

 

But it is not just disadvantaged students who California has failed. Even students who aren’t low-income fare poorly compared to their peers in many other states. 

 

California’s Students’ Performance on the State Assessment Raise Additional Concerns

And it is not just the national assessment that demonstrates how California students are underperforming. On the first two years of the new Smarter Balanced assessments of English Language Arts, in almost all grades, more than half of California’s students have not met standards. And in math it is even worse, with around 6 to 7 out of 10 students not meeting standards.

 

Achievement Gaps Reflected in California State Assessments

While overall academic performance on state assessments is disappointing, the truly alarming results illustrate that the appalling gaps between disadvantaged students and students of color with their more advantaged peers remain and are unacceptable.