Weekly roundup: Third-grade math scores, Canyon Fire 2 update, the Exit Exam’s final exit and more

As we reported way back in September, scores from the 2017 Smarter Balanced Assessments were relatively unchanged from the previous year, both for Orange County and California.

But after drilling into the performance data of California’s youngest test-takers, math educators have found reason for optimism.

Cluttered desk

It turns out nearly 47 percent of third-grade students met or exceeded the math standard, representing a high-water mark for all grade levels, according to this story from EdSource. That’s up from 40 percent in 2015, and it’s nearly 15 points higher than the 2017 math score for 11th-graders, suggesting that Common Core concepts are taking root in the earlier grades.

If you’re wondering how Orange County stacked up, nearly 56 percent of local third-graders met or exceeded the standard in math this year, outpacing all other grade levels and marking an increase of about 5 points since 2015. (OC’s 11th-graders posted the top score overall in English, with 67 percent meeting or exceeding the standard.)

And here are some other education stories from the week ending Oct. 13.    

  • Campuses throughout the Orange and Tustin unified school districts were temporarily shut down in response to the Canyon Fire 2, but all were open by Thursday, Oct. 12 as the fire’s containment increased.
  • Santa Ana Unified Superintendent Stefanie Phillips discussed the growing number of programs designed to ensure Santa Ana students are college- and career-ready at Friday’s State of the District Breakfast.
  • Two sisters from Sage Hill School in Newport Coast are developing a website and app that will match student “gurus” — those who excel in certain subjects — with “newbies” who need tutoring.
  • A foundation established by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and OCDE is offering grants of up to $5,000 to help public and private school teachers from kindergarten through community college fund classroom projects.

That’s it for now. For more education news stories, subscribe for updates from the OCDE Newsroom.