Less than a third of California students met or exceeded standards on new science test

Source: EdSource

At a time when California is placing a greater emphasis on science education, most students did not score at a proficient level on the state’s new science test, with scores especially low among several student groups.

The results of the test were released this week. They represent the first scores on the California Science Test, a new test developed by the California Department of Education, to measure progress on the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by California in 2013.

Statewide, 32 percent of 5th-graders, 31 percent of 8th-graders and 28 percent of high school students met or exceeded standards on the California science test aligned to the new standards.

The scores also show a wide gap between black and Latino students and their white and Asian peers: Across all grades, 14 percent of black students and 19 percent of Latino students met or exceeded standards, compared with 44 percent of white students and 59 percent of Asian students.

“These scores confirm trends we see in other data and the other state tests,” said Christopher Nellum, deputy director of research and policy at the Education Trust-West, a civil rights and education equity research and advocacy organization. “For us, it underscores that the education systems are failing African American, Latinx, English learners and low-income students. And because of that we aren’t meeting the state science standards.”

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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.