07/17/2018

California makes significant gain in reading on much anticipated national test

Led by strong scores in 8th-grade reading, California moved closer to the national averages in reading and math, continuing a decade-plus trend of generally slow but steady improvement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The closely watched assessment released its 2017 results for 4th and 8th grades on Tuesday.

. . . In 4th-grade math there has there been no progress in California or the nation. Since 2005, the average nationally and in California has stagnated. California continues to lag the national average.

. . .In California, the 27-point gap in average 4th-grade reading scores between whites and Hispanics in 2017 is among the biggest in the nation. However, the gap in California has narrowed by a third since 1992.

But the white-black gap in 4th-grade reading has widened 5 points since 2007. And the 38-point gap between those two groups in 8th-grade math, the same as it was in 1990, is the 4th-largest among states.

“Appalling” was the reaction of Ryan Smith, executive director of the Eduation-Trust West, which advocates for minority and low-income students. “At a time when California is claiming to lead on issues of what’s right in our country, we should see black students improve at far greater rates, not sliding back decades,” he said.

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