Test Data Show Students Holding Ground
Despite billions of dollars in education cuts in recent years, California’s public schools reported only minor test score declines in 2012-13 and continue to show significant gains over the last 10 years.
Dean E. Vogel, a counselor and president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, made these points in a news release distributed to the media on Thursday:
“Overall, students held their ground and these test scores once again indicate that students and educators accomplished much amid a steady storm of state budget cuts and increasing class sizes. A loss of more than $20 billion and the layoff of more than 30,000 educators are eventually going to take their toll. Some schools have lost entire support systems in that counselors are gone and libraries have closed. We have some of the largest class sizes in the nation and rank near the bottom in per-pupil funding.
“Despite the challenges, test scores declined less than one percentage point from last year’s results, and students continue to hold on to gains made over the years. In fact, from 2003 to 2013, there have been double-digit increases in the number of students scoring at proficient levels and above. It’s also important to remember that our students are more than one test score. Student and school achievement requires multiple measures and is dependent on a number of variables.
“Thankfully, voters approved Proposition 30 and the money owed to education is now being restored, allowing schools to restore programs and support services for students, reduce class sizes and rehire educators. The Local Control Funding Formula will help our students of greatest need get the resources they deserve.”