San Diego County students score better on state tests

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County students showed across-the-board gains in math and English testing compared to last year, and they out-performed their counterparts from across the state, according to results released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.

However, statewide, fewer than half of public school students in California are prepared for college after graduation, according to the results.

Across the state, 48 percent of students met English language arts standards and 37 percent met math standards. That compares with 44 percent in English and 34 percent in math last year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said California students overall showed improvement on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, which was implemented last year to reflect new Common Core standards, replacing the previous Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.

The CAASPP online tests were administered in the spring to more than 3.2 million students across the state in grades 3-8 and 11.

In San Diego County, 25 percent of the more than 250,000 students who took the tests exceeded the state standard in English, up from 21 percent last year. According to the test results, 31 percent met the English standard, up from 30 percent in 2015, and 22 percent “nearly” met it, down from 24 percent the previous year.

In math, 21 percent of county students exceeded the standard, up from 18 percent last year, while 23 percent met the standard and 28 percent nearly met it — compared to 22 percent and 28 percent, respectively, from 2015.

Statewide, 20 percent of students exceeded the standard in English, while 29 percent met the standard, 24 percent nearly met it and 28 percent did not meet it. In math, 17 percent exceeded the standard, while 20 percent met it and 28 percent nearly met it and 35 percent failed to meet it.

“The higher test scores show that the dedication, hard work and patience of California’s teachers, parents, school employees and administrators are paying off,” Torlakson said. “Together we are making progress towards upgrading our educational system to prepare all students for careers and college in the 21st Century.”

In the Poway Unified School District, 3 percent – or more than 800 students – moved into the category of achieving standards in English Language Arts. In mathematics, 2 percent, or over 600 more students were identified as met or exceeded state standards.

Torlakson noted that the statewide test results continued to show an achievement gap, with 37 percent of Latino students and 31 percent of black students meeting or exceeding standards in English, compared to 64 percent of white students.

“The achievement gap is pernicious and persistent, and we all need to work together to find solutions that help all groups rise, while narrowing the gap,” he said.