The California Department of Education is now telling local school districts that students’ results from the first statewide standardized tests given since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted public education will be released sometime in October.
In a Sept. 23 email sent to county and district superintendents and charter school administrators, officials wrote that the department is anticipating districts will submit their reviewed, corrected and updated California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California data by Sept. 30.
The statement came after EdSource reported on Sept. 22 that the release of statewide test results was being delayed following a denial of EdSource’s request for the statewide data through a Public Records Act request.
If you have a student who was in 3rd-8th or 11th grade last year, you may recall getting their individual student scores from your district over the summer. While individual scores were released, the statewide, countywide, districtwide, and campuswide results have not been released. EdSource said the big-picture data usually gets released around this time.
CDE told Spotlight Schools earlier this month that it planned to release the statewide data to coincide with an upgrade to its California Schools Dashboard sometime before December.
EdSource questioned the timing of that release date saying it would happen after the November 8 election, meaning the results “won’t surface as an election year issue – both for local school board races and for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who runs the California Department of Education and is facing re-election this year.”
But in an email this week, the CDE confirmed the shift saying “that the statewide public release will occur sometime in October.”
Los Alamitos USD Supt. warns of potential declines in student test scores
A lot of attention is being paid to these test scores. Last school year marked the first required administration of statewide testing in California since the pre-pandemic 2018-19 school year. Testing took place in May of 2022 for 3rd through 8th and 11th graders and measured students’ knowledge of math and English language arts/literacy.
So far other test results have shown that American students suffered severe learning losses following disruptions to education during the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by The L.A. Times, The 74, and The N.Y .Times.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) benchmark tests for the nation’s nine-year-olds reported an average 5 point dip in reading scores and a 7 point drop in mathematics scores compared to 2020.
“This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics,” reads the National Center for Education Statistics website which administered the NAEP test.
Los Alamitos Unified School District Superintendent Andrew Pulver, Ed.D, said we could see a similar decline here during his speech at the State of the District on Sept. 23.
“From conversations with other superintendents as well, they share they see similar trends in their own data. We have as well,” Pulver said and continued, “So we cannot be immune to the fact that what happened during the pandemic and our staff did their very best job.”
Ian Hanigan, spokesman for the Orange County Department of Education, said the county is ready to respond to the results when they are officially released.
“We look forward to conducting a thorough analysis of Orange County’s data and collaborating with educational leaders at all levels to address any challenges while building on our core strengths,” Hanigan wrote in part of an email message to Spotlight Schools.
The results will be posted on the state’s test results reporting webpage and will give us more insight into how the pandemic has impacted students in Orange County.