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STATEWIDE TEST SCORES BARELY MOVE,

ACHIEVEMENT GAPS REMAIN HUGE

EdVoice Press Release

October 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today’s release of the 2018-19 statewide test scores generate serious questions. The test, developed by panels of teachers that worked together with experts, sets expectations for what every child should know to be on track academically for college, a career and the future.


“We commend Superintended of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond for recognizing persistent achievement gaps are still very wide and unacceptable,” said Bill Lucia, President of EdVoice. “The biggest question is what is leadership in Sacramento going to do about persistent failure in public schools, particularly in high-poverty communities and for our students of color, English Learners and children with disabilities?”


The state provided the scores to school districts in May and waited to release them to the public until after the next school year was already underway. California spent over $90 billion on K-12 education this year alone, but another year of dismal scores clearly show that the Local Control Funding Formula alone is not enough to solve California’s education achievement crisis.


“At current rates of improvement, it would take decades to have all students reaching grade-level standards. This is a crisis. California has a responsibility to all 6.2 million kids. It’s time for the new Governor to step in and direct the Legislature, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education to act – now,” Lucia continued.


English Language Arts test data reveal still only half of all students perform at grade level with only a one-point gain over 2018. About 60 percent of students are below grade level in Common Core Math. And, high school achievement is still 2.49 percentage points below what it was 2017.


Achievement gaps remained massive:

  • Only 39 percent of low-income seventh graders met or exceeded ELA standards, compared to 71 percent of their more affluent peers.

  • In 11th grade – the only grade tested in high school – barely one-fifth of low-income students met or exceeded math standards, compared to about half of their more affluent peers.

  • Not even 13 percent of English learners met math and ELA standards statewide.