California kids’ test scores again rise by inches as achievement gap yawns

Source: CalMatters

In a steady-but-painstakingly-slow pattern that has come to define California’s push for equity in education, statewide test scores inched up incrementally this year, though about half of the state’s students are behind in reading and only 4 in 10 students are proficient in math.

The results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests, administered to some 3.1 million students in grades 3-8 and grade 11, were released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of the Education Trust-West, an advocacy group focused on closing student achievement gaps, said “the results we see are not about students inability to learn or succeed, (they’re) about adult decisions that have not supported students over time.”

“Overall, we’re crawling forward as a state in terms of closing the achievement gaps we see. But we’re crawling when we really need to be sprinting,” Arrillaga said.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.