SCCOE working toward closing the achievement gap
SAN JOSE, CA – Results from the third year of the student assessment system known as CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) show that Santa Clara County students continue to outperform their state counterparts.
The CAASPP assessments measure student progress from grades three to eight and 11 in English Language Arts and Mathematics and demonstrates each student’s ability write clearly, think critically, and solve problems, skills to help prepare students for college and careers in the 21st century.
“Because test scores, are quantifiable illustrations of performance, it is easy to judge school and student performance based solely on numbers; but CAASPP results will show their greater value with time. The numbers will eventually allow us to track student progress and development over time, and the more data received, the greater understanding we will have,” said Jon R. Gundry, County Superintendent of Schools.
Staff from the Department of Assessment and Accountability of the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) did an in-depth analysis of the results and noted the following highlights:
- For the ELA assessments, 62 percent of Santa Clara County students reached the Standard Met or Standard Exceeded achievement levels compared to 49 percent of students statewide.
- For the mathematics assessments, 55 percent of Santa Clara County students reached the Standard Met or Standard Exceeded achievement levels compared to 38 percent of students statewide.
- Santa Clara County students met or exceeded standards at higher rates than their statewide counterparts at all grade levels (grades three to eight and 11) on the ELA and mathematics assessments.
- Overall and in eight of nine student, Santa Clara County students equaled or bettered their statewide counterparts in terms of the Standard Met or Standard Exceeded achievement levels on both the ELA and mathematics assessments.
The results also show that some challenges remain:
- A substantial achievement gap exists between Hispanic/Latino students and white and Asian students in the county.
- For ELA, there is a 46 percentage point difference between the percent of Hispanic/Latino and Asian students that reached the Standard Met or Standard Exceeded achievement levels. Math results show a 56 percentage point difference.
- Within Santa Clara County there is a substantial achievement gap between Economically Disadvantaged and Not Economically Disadvantaged students.
- For ELA, there is a 39 percentage point difference. The gap is even larger in math, where there is a 43 percentage point difference.
“While there are some incremental increases from the previous year, much of the performance remains the same and demonstrate that our challenges still exist, particularly for the economically disadvantaged, and Hispanic student groups,” said Gundry.
The SCCOE offers many programs to close those achievement gaps for current student populations, for example the Curriculum & Instruction department offers training and professional development to help teachers find new and exciting ways to engage every student in their classroom.
“We are also working toward closing the achievement gap for future students, the research from the Early Learning Master Plan and Strong Start Coalition prove that providing equitable access to high quality early care and education is the most effective means of preventing the racial-ethnic and economic opportunity gaps in our communities,” said Gundry.
“But it is important for families to note that while assessments like CAASPP provide valuable data, this is not a full picture of their child’s academic performance or potential. Families will receive a better understanding of their child’s academic performance and help their child better succeed by monitoring their daily assignments, having regular contact with their child’s teacher throughout the school year, and taking an active role in their child’s education,” adds Gundry.
The entire analysis and other information relating to CAASPP can be found at www.sccoe.org/caaspp.