Although Kings County students are performing at the same level as last year, they are still behind most of the state academically, according to test scores released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.
The department said 3.2 million total students completed the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests earlier this year. This is the third year students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 were given the tests, which assessed students in English language arts, literacy and mathematics.
Statewide, results are roughly the same as last year: 48.5 percent of students have met or exceeded English language arts and literacy standards, compared to the local average of 42 percent. While 37.5 have met or exceeded math standards at the state level, in Kings County, the average is around 29 percent.
Kings County students fared better than a few surrounding counties.
In Tulare County, only 37 percent met the language art standards and 25 percent passed the math standards. In Kern County, 40 percent passed the language tests, while 27 completed the math standards.
School districts have had access to their own results since May and parents received individual student scores over the summer.
Joy C. Gabler, Hanford Elementary School District superintendent, said she is pleased they have retained growth in English language arts and literacy while making a slight gain in mathematics.
“To meet the demands of the assessments, our staff continue to focus on pushing our students to read and think critically, express themselves clearly and solve complex real-world problems,” Gabler said. “As a district, we know there is still work to be done and we are committed to making sure all students progress academically.”
The computer-based tests are based on California’s academic standards.
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson said he was pleased that students maintained the progress they have made since the initial year of testing, but said work still had to be done by to narrow achievement gaps and make sure students continue to progress.
“It’s important to remember that these tests are far more rigorous and realistic than the previous paper and pencil tests,” Torlakson said. “We are asking more of our students, but for a good reason — so they are better prepared for the world of college and careers.”