SLO County students' standardized test scores improve

San Luis Obispo County students improved their scores over last year on standardized tests in math and English and remain above the statewide average in those subjects.

More than half of the 26,072 students who took the California Standards Test in the county scored proficient or advanced in those subjects, according to data released Monday by the state Department of Education.

Countywide, 60 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in English and language arts, and 53 percent reached the same levels in math.

The state Board of Education has marked proficient as the desired achievement goal for all students.

Students are tested in four areas: math; English and language arts; science; and history and social science. The results are divided into five categories: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic.

The statewide results mark the eighth consecutive year that California’s public school performance has improved, state schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell said in a statement.

More than 4.7 million students in California participated in the 2010 Standardized Testing and Reporting program. Students in grades 2 through 11 are tested in math and English; high school students are also tested in science and history.

Statewide, more than half of all students scored proficient or advanced in English-language arts, and nearly half are proficient or advanced in mathematics.

An achievement gap remains between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers: 69 percent of white students and 75 percent of Asian students scored at proficient or advanced level in English, while 39 percent of black students and 40 percent of Hispanic students reached that level.

-- Cynthia Lambert