LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Students in Los Angeles County continued to show improvement on standardized tests, with higher percentages of them scoring advanced or proficient in math and English, according to results released today by the state Department of Education.

The improvement in scores on the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program mirrored increases seen across the state, according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

“The significant and sustained improvements we’ve seen for nine consecutive years prove how hard teachers, school employees, administrators and parents are working to help students achieve despite budget cuts that have affected our schools,” Torlakson said. “Their heroic teamwork is paying off for California.”

More than 1.2 million students in Los Angeles County were tested, with 51 percent scoring advanced or proficient in English-language arts and 47.7 percent in mathematics, according to figures released by the state. Both figures represent increases from 2010, when 48.3 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English and 45 percent achieved those levels in math.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 43.9 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English-language arts, up from 40.5 percent last year. In math, 42.9 percent scored advanced or proficient, an increase from 39 percent last year.

The LAUSD and Los Angeles County numbers all lag behind the statewide average, which shows 54.4 percent scoring advanced or proficient in English and 50.3 percent in math.

Torlakson noted, however, that the scores continue to show an achievement gap, with Black, Latino, English-learner and low-income students lagging behind their peers.

“We have more work to do to make sure every student receives the world-class education he or she deserves and has the opportunity to achieve their dreams and contribute to the success of our state,” he said. “I’m committed to that effort–and to working with California’s leaders to provide our schools and our communities with the resources they need.”

About 4.7 million students took part in the 2011 STAR program, which includes California Standards Tests, California Modified Assessment, California Alternate Performance Assessment and Standards-based Tests in Spanish for Spanish-speaking and English-learner students.