San Luis Obispo County schools received a mostly positive report card following the state’s release Wednesday of results from California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress testing.
In general, SLO County students outperformed those in the rest of the state, with 55 percent meeting or exceeding the English literacy standards and 43 percent meeting or exceeding in math.
In contrast, only 49 percent of students in California passed or exceeded the English portion of the test and 37 percent the math.
Federal law requires states to test students in third through eighth grades and then again in 11th grade.
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This was the third year of the new online test, which asks progressively more difficult questions after students answer correctly. In its first year in 2015, state officials warned that scores would likely be lower while students adjusted to the new testing method (in SLO County, for example, 49 percent of students at least met the language arts standards then, and only 37 percent met the math).
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said students across the state seem to have rebounded from that initial drop and are improving each year.
“I’m pleased we retained our gains, but we have much more work to do,” Torlakson said. “We need to work diligently to narrow achievement gaps and make sure all students continue to make progress.”
In SLO County, slightly more students met or exceeded the English standards this year than last, up from 54 percent in 2016, while math scores stayed virtually unchanged at 43 percent.
The most significant improvements among SLO County students were in 11th-grade testing: In 2016, 54 percent of the county’s 11th-graders met or exceeded the English standards, and 33 percent met or exceeded the math.
This year, those numbers improved to 62 percent in English, and 35 percent in math.
At the district level, San Luis Coastal Unified School District performed the best. Sixty-seven percent of its students met or exceeded the language arts standards, and 62 percent met or exceeded the math standards.
Students in that district performed markedly better than those in other districts on the math section of the test, where the number of students who met or exceeded the standards ranged from 23 percent in the small Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary School District to 50 percent for Templeton Unified School District.
The gap was less pronounced in English, where countywide, the met/exceeded rate ranged from 45 percent for San Miguel Joint Unified School District to 66 percent for Templeton.
The county’s largest school district, Lucia Mar Unified, had middle-of-the-road scores with 52 percent of students passing the English standards and 38 percent passing math (though those did increase compared with last year, when they were 50 percent and 37 percent, respectively ).
Teach Elementary in the San Luis Coastal district boasted the highest scores in both sections: 95 percent in English and 94 percent in math met or exceeded standards.
For a look at the performance of individual schools around the county, visit http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2017/default.