Struggling California students fell further behind during pandemic, state report finds – Daily News


California’s public school students struggled with online learning during the 2020-21 school year, with students who were already behind falling further behind, according to new data released by the state.

Absenteeism also went up in 2020-21 and graduation rates dipped slightly, the state reported Friday, Jan. 7.

The California Department of Education released data looking at how the state’s students performed on standardized tests, as well as graduation rates, absenteeism and student discipline. It’s the first such look at how students did during a school year dramatically disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The state dashboard shows less than half — 49.01% — of third- through eighth- and eleventh-grade students tested met or exceeded California standards for English Language Arts and slightly more than a third — 33.76% — did the same for math.

“Our road ahead is clear — we must continue to focus our energy and resources in supporting our students, families, and educators so they not only recover from the impacts of COVID-19 but thrive in days ahead,” state Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond is quoted as saying in a Department of Education news release announcing the release of the data.

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  • In Los Angeles County, 48.02% of students met or exceeded the state’s ELA standards, and 30.98% met or exceeded the standards for math.
  • In Orange County, 60.98% of students met or exceeded ELA standards, and 42.9% met or exceeded math standards.
  • In Riverside County, 39% of students met or exceeded ELA standards, and 20.65% met or exceeded math standards.
  • And in San Bernardino County, 42.41% of students met or exceeded ELA standards, and 22.8% meting or exceeded math standards.

Achievement gaps for Black and Hispanic or Latino students grew as well, according to the education department.

There were no tests during the 2019-20 school year, as the pandemic interrupted testing, which normally takes place in the spring. In the 2018-19 school year, however, 51.1% of California students met or exceeded ELA standards, and 39.73% met or exceeded math standards. The pandemic brought an end to five straight years of improvements in statewide test scores.


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