Press Release - SMC Students Show Growth in 2016 SBAC Results

San Mateo County Students Show Growth in 2016 Smarter Balanced Results

REDWOOD CITY, CA – The California Department of Education (CDE) today unveiled the results of the 2016 Smarter Balanced summative assessments (SBAC), which were given for the second time to more than three million students in California last spring. With the second round of assessments completed, schools and districts across the state will be able to analyze academic growth from year to year, giving educators valuable data to better inform instruction.

San Mateo County had very high participation in 2016, with 97 percent of eligible students taking the English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy assessment and 97 percent participating in the Mathematics assessment. Of those students, 59 percent met or exceeded standards in ELA/Literacy, compared to 49 percent statewide, and 52 percent met or exceeded standards in Mathematics, compared to 37 percent statewide.

The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) was excited to see growth in the percent of students meeting or exceeded standards in 2016, compared to 2015. Most student subgroups met or exceeded standards at a rate one to five percentage points higher in 2016 than in 2015, and this was true for both ELA/Literacy and Mathematics. There were no subgroups that performed worse on the assessments in 2016 than in 2015.

SMCOE remains concerned that these data continue to show the presence of a significant achievement gap within San Mateo County—something felt in schools across the state. Certain student subgroups continue to outperform their peers, while other subgroups, including socioeconomically disadvantaged students and English learners, met or exceeded standards at levels lower than the countywide average. Of particular concern is the persistence of lower achievement levels in students who are Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Despite this, all cohorts of students either maintained or improved their average achievement level in the past school year, increasing their scale scores by more than 50 points between some grade levels. We anticipate this growth will continue as teachers and students continue to adjust to the new standards and assessments.

“We now have two years of SBAC data and can begin to see emerging trends,” said Anne E. Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools. “Our county’s students are making steady academic progress, and our teachers have successfully turned the corner in making the instructional transition to the new state standards. However, we are still seeing troubling disparities in achievement among student subgroups. This new assessment system provides the opportunity to drill down into student performance data so we can better address these individual student needs, and I look forward to working with educators throughout San Mateo County as we try to ensure that every student is moving toward college and career readiness.”

Parents will receive individual student score reports from their local districts. These score reports are slightly different from the reports received last year and include information on a student's overall scores, progress, and the corresponding achievement level in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics. For help understanding these score reports, parents can refer to http://www.testscoreguide.org/.

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