The latest state test data shows that most Bay Area school districts have not improved much since last year. Many also still have huge gaps in proficiency rates between students of different races and income levels.

 

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Low-income African American Students 22% 21% 20% 21%
Low-income Latino Students 25% 29% 29% 30%
Non-low-income White Students 78% 77% 77% 78%

 

In some Bay Area districts, scores for non-low-income White students were double — and in some cases, triple — that of low-income Latino and African American students.

The California Department of Education released the 2016-17 scores on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English and mathematics in October.

See how your district did:

San Francisco

  • In San Francisco, proficiency rates for African American and Latino students remained extremely low.
    • Scores for African American students increased by just 1 point in English (just 2 in 10 are now reading on grade level). Scores in math were already low and this year they decreased 1 point further. Now just 12% of African American students are proficient in math.
    • Scores for Latino students did not change at all. Just 3 in 10 Latino students are reading on grade level and just 2 in ten are proficient in math.  
  • San Francisco has a huge and persistent achievement gap. For the last four years, there has been around a 50 point gap in proficiency between White students and African American and Latino students.

Redwood City

  • Latinos make up the majority of students in Redwood City Elementary District. This year the district saw modest increases for this group in both English (4 percentage points) and math (5 percentage points).
  • Yet despite these gains, Latino students in Redwood City are still half as likely to be on grade level in reading as their White peers. Just four in 10 Latino students are proficient in reading and three in 10 are proficient in math.  

Sequoia Union

  • Proficiency rates in Sequoia Union dropped significantly from last year for most groups of students.
    • Scores for African American students dropped by 11% in English and 13% in Math.
    • For Latino students, scores dropped by 16% in English and 3% in math.
  • Only around a third of African American and Latino students are proficient in English. Only 13% of African American students and 20% of Latino students are proficient in math.  
  • When students are not prepared to read and do math on grade level, they are far less likely to graduate high school prepared for success in college. Last year, just 4 in 10 Latino students in Sequoia Union graduated eligible to apply to a public university. These rates are even lower for African American and Pacific Islander students.  

Ravenswood City

  • This year, Ravenswood City made some progress for African American and Latino students. The English proficiency rate increased by 6 percentage points for African American students and by 4 points for Latino students.
  • However, even with these improvements, these proficiency rates still lag far behind the rest of the state:
    • Just 2 in 10 Latino students are on grade-level in English and math.
    • Just 2 in 10 African American students are on grade-level in English and just 1 in 10 are on grade-level in Math. This means that, across the entire district, just 11 African American students are on grade-level in math.
  • Proficiency rates for students with disabilities were generally low across the state of California (15% in English and 12% in math). But in Ravenswood City, only 6% of students with disabilities were proficient in English and only 3% were proficient in math last year. This means that out of 230 students with disabilities in the Ravenswood City school district who took the state test, just 14 are proficient in reading and just 8 are proficient in math.

San Jose

  • San Jose didn’t show much improvement in its scores for Latino students: only a 2% increase in English scores, and no difference in math scores.
  • The achievement gap between non-low-income White students and low-income Latino students is 47 percentage points in English and 50 points in math.
  • Scores for African American students increased by 4 percentage points in English and 6 points in math. Despite these gains, African Americans still face enormous gaps compared to proficiency rates of White students.
  • For students with disabilities, scores increased just 1 percentage point in both in English and math. Overall only 19% of students with disabilities are proficient in English and only 16% are proficient in math.

Of course, test scores are just one measure of a school’s performance. At Innovate, we recognize that it’s important to look at multiple measures of school quality beyond proficiency rates. Our Top Schools report profiles high-performing schools meeting more holistic measures of student learning and school culture.

However, this year’s test scores do show that Bay Area schools have not academically prepared many students for their future. State and district education officials may be quick to tout even the smallest increases. But the overall news for the California and the Bay Area is alarming — especially for the most marginalized groups of students.