New state tests show OC students continue steady growth

Orange County’s public school students continued to make steady progress in English language arts and mathematics in the latest round of state tests, according to figures released today.

For the fifth consecutive year, local students continued to outpace their peers statewide with a higher percentages of Orange County students meeting or exceeded standards at every grade level in English and math on the 2019 Smarter Balanced Assessments.

These tests, part of the state’s redesigned accountability system that debuted in 2014, are the primary measure for student achievement in math and English. They’re also the main component of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system, or CAASPP.

Last spring, more than 3 million students statewide in grades 3 through 8 and 11 took the tests, which were administered online. About 263,000 students in Orange County were tested.

In English, 59% of Orange County students met or exceeded grade level standards showing an overall growth of 1% from the previous year. All grade levels either maintained or increased in percentage points as compared to the previous year.

Table showing English 2019 test scores

In math, 50% of Orange County students met or exceeded grade level standards. Most grade levels results increased as compared to the previous year.

table showing 2019 math state test scores

Today’s scores will make up a key ingredient of the California School Dashboard, the new accountability system that replaced the Academic Performance Index. These test scores will be used in conjunction with suspension rates, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism figures, college and career readiness data, and other information to determine if schools and districts are making enough progress in support of student success. The Dashboard will be released in coming weeks.