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Standardized test scores show decline from last year

City News Service | 8/8/2013, 2:21 p.m.
Standardized test scores for students in Los Angeles County and around the state dipped just slightly compared to last year, ...

Standardized test scores for students in Los Angeles County and around the state dipped just slightly compared to last year, the state Department of Education announced today.

Of the nearly 1.1 million students countywide who took the examinations in the spring, 54.1 percent scored advanced or proficient in English. Last year, 54.4 percent scored in those categories.

In mathematics, 49.6 percent scored advanced or proficient, a slight bump from 49.4 percent last year.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 47.6 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English. Last year, 47.9 percent scored in the top categories. In mathematics, 45.3 percent were advanced or proficient, compared to 44.6 percent last year.

In Orange County, 64.6 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English, down from 65.6 percent last year, while 60.8 percent scored in the top categories in math, down from last year’s 61.7 percent.

Nearly 4.7 million students around California took the tests during the last school year.

In English, 56.4 percent were advanced or proficient, down from 57.2 percent last year. In math, 51.2 percent were advanced or proficient, compared to 51.5 percent in 2012.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson blamed the slip on continued budget cuts for education and a switch to new standards known as “Common Core,” which are designed to align education goals nationwide.

“As you would expect for a school system in transition, results varied from grade to grade, subject to subject and school to school, but the big picture is one of remarkable resilience despite the challenges,” Torlakson said.

“While we all want to see California’s progress continue, these results show that in the midst of change and uncertainty, teachers and schools kept their focus on students and learning,” he said. “That’s a testament to the depth of their commitment to their students and the future of our state.”

Even with the dip, the results still reflect a marked improvement over a decade ago, when only about one-third of students were scoring advanced or proficient in tests, he said.