(Eureka) — For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced students into distance learning, the California Department of Education (CDE) has released statewide test scores and assessment data to the public. The reports contain metrics about academic performance, chronic absenteeism, English learner progress, high school graduation rates and suspension rates, among other performance metrics. The test results are formally titled, “The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress” (CAASPP).
CAASPP cautioned that several factors should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results. Last year CAASPP testing was not required, and schools could administer local assessments. In 2020 CAASPP testing was suspended altogether due to the pandemic. On the newly-released dashboards, districts and charter schools received five status levels, from “very low” to “very high”. Assessment data were from the 2021-22 school year and measure performance at only one point in time. Additional local data can help develop a fuller picture, particularly how outcomes differ among student demographic groups.
Overall, Humboldt County students’ test scores in English showed 42% of students met or exceeded the standard for English Language Arts, while 28% met or exceeded the standard for math.
Dr. Colby Smart, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) explained, “The local figures are certainly reflective of the immense disruption to student learning that happened during the pandemic.” He said, “There are disparities among student demographic groups when it comes to many of the measures on the state dashboard. It is important to note that these disparities aren’t new and remain a priority for school districts, charter schools and HCOE. We have launched a countywide effort to build and improve reading instruction. We’re focusing on the ‘science of reading’ and we’ve developed a multi-tiered approach in Humboldt County.” Smart continued, “Classroom teachers, reading and intervention teachers, and instructional coaches help reinforce an ongoing commitment for improving student outcomes in the areas of academic performance, as well as social-emotional needs in our community.”
“I am very proud of the work that is being done by educators in schools across Humboldt County to address the academic and social-emotional needs of students who have been impacted by the disruption to learning during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years,” said Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Davies-Hughes. He added, “HCOE is working closely with local school districts on a variety of fronts to accelerate learning and enhance academic performance. This includes supporting expanded learning opportunities outside the regular school day, assisting with the planning and implementation of statewide community schools grants and facilitating the rollout of transitional kindergarten (TK), a brand-new grade level for four-year-olds, that’s being phased in statewide.”