Redwood City, CA—The California Department of Education released the 2019 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores for English and Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. While the California School Dashboard provides a spectrum of information on student performance reflecting progress across multiple indicators, the CAASPP assessment provides a quick snapshot of how students are performing in these two subject areas relative to other students in the state.

The CAASPP system is comprised of comprehensive, end-of-year assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness. They are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and mathematics and are administered to eligible students in grades three through eight and eleven. Schools administered the tests in Spring 2019.

In San Mateo County, overall CAASPP scores remained stagnant, with 61.3 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards on the ELA assessment – up 0.4 percent over last year, and 53.4 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards on the Mathematics assessment – an increase of 0.3 percent.

Although higher percentages of San Mateo County students meet or exceed the standard when compared with their counterparts in the state, the gaps among student groups in the county are wider than the state averages. The gap in scores between students who are considered economically disadvantaged and all students in the state is 12 percent for both ELA and Mathematics. In San Mateo County, that gap doubles at 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively. See the table below for more data on the gaps.

Some districts in the county made progress in closing gaps. Brisbane, Portola Valley, Millbrae, and Hillsborough school districts saw significant gains for students with disabilities, and students from several student groups in the Belmont-Redwood Shores and La Honda-Pescadero Unified school districts made noticeable progress in mathematics.

“We celebrate and seek to learn from the districts that are making progress; however, the persistent gaps are troubling,” commented San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. “It’s clear we have to deepen our commitment to systemic change and sharpen our efforts to serve each and every student. The California Dashboard provides us with more readily accessible data than ever before; now we have to apply that information to improve instructional practices that can support every child’s learning.”

The San Mateo County Office of Education works closely with school districts to both understand and address the systems that contribute to these inequities. By using a systems approach, educational leaders can look at other measures beyond test scores in order to fully understand what students need and how to target resources for the greatest impact. For example, if a school finds that absenteeism and/or suspension rates are high for the same groups of students who are not meeting academic targets, then they might focus on strategies that get students to school and help them connect more with their learning. Since every school is unique and students face varying challenges, the response and interventions need to be tailored school by school.

This is where the California School Dashboard comes in. Released in 2017, the Dashboard provides rich and longitudinal data to help schools understand and address issues that may keep them from providing all of their students with an excellent education in a supportive environment. The Dashboard also provides the transparency that parents and community members have long sought.


The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.