Posted on October 10, 2019

Only Half of California Students Meet English Standards and Fewer Meet Math Standards, Test Scores Show

Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2019

Just over half of public school students who took the state’s standardized English language arts test performed at grade level, while only 4 in 10 are proficient in math, scores that represent a slow upward trend over the past four years, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.


However, scores among African American students are markedly lower, prompting calls from educators to address the achievement gap.

{snip} The low scores reflect a lack of investment in early childhood education and in the public school system, the experts said.


In Los Angeles — where about 80% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of low family income — scores improved at a higher rate, almost 2 percentage points in each category: 43.9% of students met English standards in 2019, and 33.47% met math standards.

Black students are the furthest behind, with about 20.55% meeting math standards and 33% meeting English throughout California. The Los Angeles scores are slightly lower with about 20% meeting math standards and 31.95% meeting English.


To do that, he said, lawmakers will have to overcome the discomfort of targeting resources to a specific ethnic or racial group, and instead treat students who are not meeting standards like any other group that needs additional help.

California’s school funding formula gives additional money to districts for students who are low-income, English learners or foster youth, but not for two groups who perform particularly low on the state tests: black students and students with disabilities.