Two-thirds of California students didn’t meet science standards. Here’s why

Source: Los Angeles Times

Across the state, 29.9% of students met or exceeded the new science standards on this first test, with fluctuations according to grade level. High school students must take the test once between 10th and 12th grade.

There was a spike in 11th grade scores, with about 30% proficiency, but overall high school students did worse than younger students.

Low-income students and black students had especially low scores, a pattern also seen in the state’s math and English assessments. On the science test, only about 3% of English learners and 8% of students with disabilities demonstrated proficiency.

“The scores show that we’re continuing to fail students and we’re failing the same students who historically we always have,” said Elisha Smith Arrillaga, executive director of the Oakland-based research and advocacy nonprofit Education Trust-West. “What actually makes it more egregious is that we’re in a state that is this bastion of technological advancement. … We’re not connecting the dots between the tech world and what we see in classrooms.”

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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.