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- Definition: Percentage of all public school students tested in grades 3-11 who completed the Mathematics California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test with a score of Standard Met or Exceeded, by socioeconomic status (e.g., 21% of economically disadvantaged students in California scored at or above their grade-level standard in 2015).
- Data Source: California Dept. of Education, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results (Nov. 2015).
- Footnote: The year presented is the year in which the test was administered. Students are considered "economically disadvantaged" if they are eligible for the free/reduced price lunch program or if neither parent graduated from high school. For an explanation of the standards, by grade, see the CAASPP website. LNE (Low Number Event) refers to data that have been suppressed because there were fewer than 20 estimated students with scores meeting or exceeding the standard. N/A means that data are not available.
- Measures of Math Proficiency on Kidsdata.org
Kidsdata.org reports the percentage of public school students meeting or exceeding their grade-level standard on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in Mathematics, as well as this information by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.*
In addition, kidsdata.org provides the number and percentage of 10th grade public school students who passed the mathematics section of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE); these data are also available by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.The primary purpose of the CAHSEE, according to the California Department of Education, was to significantly improve pupil achievement in public high schools and to ensure that students who graduate from high schools can demonstrate grade-level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics. The mathematics section of the CAHSEE addressed state standards in grades 6 and 7, and in Algebra I. Between grades 10 and 12, students had six opportunities to take the test. The CAHSEE was offered for the first time in spring 2001. Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, students were required to pass the CAHSEE to receive a public high school diploma, in addition to meeting the individual school district's requirements for graduation. The CAHSEE was suspended effective January 1, 2016.
*For an explanation of the standards, by grade, see http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2015/UnderstandingCAASPPReports#am.
- Math Proficiency
- Characteristics of Children with Special Needs
- College Eligibility
- English Learners
- High School Graduation
- Disconnected Youth
- Pupil Support Service Personnel
- Reading Proficiency
- School Connectedness
- Caring Adults at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- High Expectations from Teachers and Others (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Meaningful Participation at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Total School Assets (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- School Connectedness (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Adults at School Believe in Student Success (Staff Reported)
- Caring Adults at School (Staff Reported)
- School Gives Students Opportunities to Make a Difference (Staff Reported)
- School Motivates Students to Learn (Staff Reported)
- Students Who Are Motivated to Learn (Staff Reported)
- Youth Development or Resilience Is Fostered at School (Staff Reported)
- School Safety
- Perceptions of School Safety (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Fear of Being Beaten Up at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Physical Fighting at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Carrying a Gun at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Carrying a Knife or Other Weapon at School (Student Reported), by Grade Level
- Perceptions of School Safety for Students (Staff Reported)
- Perceptions of School Safety for Staff (Staff Reported)
- Student Physical Fighting Is a Problem at School (Staff Reported)
- Student Weapons Possession Is a Problem at School (Staff Reported)
- Truancy, Suspensions & Expulsions
- Why This Topic Is Important
Basic math skills are essential to navigate through life, and competence in mathematics is associated with readiness for the workplace and higher future earnings (1, 2). Math proficiency also is a predictor of college attendance (2). Nationwide, increasing emphasis is being placed on children's achievement in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering, recognizing the importance of these fields in the country's future and ability to innovate (2). According to a 2014 report, the U.S. ranked 11th, internationally, in 4th grade math assessments (2). In California, student math scores consistently rank among the lowest in the nation, even though U.S. and California scores generally have improved since the 1990s (3). Further, large inequities persist in math achievement by student socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic group, and English Learner status, statewide and nationally (3, 4).For more information on math proficiency, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
1. Child Trends Databank. (2015). Mathematics proficiency. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=mathematics-proficiency
2. Pane, N. E. (2014). Math scores add up for Hispanic students: States and school districts notable for recent gains by Hispanic students in mathematics. Child Trends Hispanic Institute. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?publications=math-scores-add-up-for-hispanic-students-states-and-school-districts-notable-for-recent-gains-by-hispanic-students-in-mathematics
3. National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). The nation’s report card. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from: http://www.nationsreportcard.gov
4. Education Trust–West. (2015). Student achievement in California: 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results. Retrieved from: https://west.edtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/10/CAASPP-Equity-Alert-2015-OCTOBER.pdf
- How Children Are Faring
In 2015, 33% of California 3rd-11th graders met or exceeded their grade-level standard in Mathematics on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). At the county level, figures ranged from 17% to 56%. 2015 data also show disparities in math proficiency by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. For example, 21% of economically disadvantaged students in California scored at or above their grade-level standard, compared to 52% of higher income students, while Asian American students demonstrated proficiency at a rate (69%) four times higher than their African American/Black peers (16%).
With regard to the high school exit exam, 85% of California 10th graders passed the mathematics portion in 2015. At the state level, the passing percentages have increased overall, and for almost all types of students (i.e., those with and without economic disadvantages, and those in every racial/ethnic group for which data are available) since 2005. However, economically disadvantaged students still have lower overall passing percentages than higher income students, and disparities remain among racial/ethnic groups.
- Policy Implications
Significant education policy changes have taken place in California and the U.S. in recent years, such as the state's Local Control Funding Formula, the Common Core State Standards, the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (1, 2). Policymakers now face challenges in effectively implementing these large-scale changes, which have the potential to reduce long-standing achievement gaps in math proficiency by race/ethnicity, income level, disability status, and English Learner status (2).
According to research and subject experts, policy options that could improve math proficiency include:
For more policy ideas related to math proficiency, see the Research & Links section on kidsdata.org or visit the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse, Education Trust–West, and EdSource. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under High School Graduation, College Eligibility, and Family Income and Poverty.
- Ensuring that all children have access to high-quality preschool or kindergarten readiness programs, which lay the foundation for later achievement (3, 4)
- Continuing to support K-12 schools in creating positive school climates and developing comprehensive, coordinated, evidence-based systems to address student needs, e.g., physical, emotional, behavioral, or other needs (4, 5, 6)
- In accordance with California law, supporting effective strategies to involve families in school, which is linked to improvements in student academic achievement, engagement in school, and behavior, as well as improvements in school climate (7, 8)
- As California works to meet the Every Student Succeeds Act requirements, ensuring that the state's new accountability system is effective, streamlined, and supports all students, particularly low-income students, children of color, students with disabilities, and English Learners (1, 2)
- Supporting efforts to provide school districts and county offices of education with affordable technical assistance as they implement California's Local Control Funding Formula, and ensuring implementation effectively focuses resources on high-need students (2, 3)
- Ensuring that all students have access to high-quality Common Core-aligned curricula and other classroom support, such as math coaches and specialists, and reducing or eliminating the practice of assigning students to math courses according to perceived abilities (2, 8, 9)
- Ensuring that teachers hold high expectations for all students and have access to ongoing professional development and coaching opportunities, including time to collaborate in professional learning communities (8, 9)
- Supporting efforts to incentivize college graduates to enter the teaching profession, work at high-need schools, and teach hard-to-staff subjects such as math and science; also, ensuring equitable distribution of high-quality teachers, so all students and schools have equal access to effective teaching (2, 8)
- Continuing to improve the state's education data system, so that it provides meaningful reports to local educators and leaders to inform decision-making (3)
Sources for this narrative:
1. Education Trust–West. (2015). The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: What it means for equity and accountability in California. Retrieved from: http://west.edtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/11/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-Implications-for-CA-FINAL-PDF.pdf
2. Education Trust–West. (2014). The Education Trust–West 2014 Policy Agenda: Tectonic shifts in California's education landscape. Retrieved from: https://west.edtrust.org/resource/the-education-trust-west-2014-policy-agenda
3. Hill, L., et al. (2016). California's future: K-12 education. Public Policy Institute of California. Retrieved from: http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=899
4. My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. (2014). My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report to the President. Retrieved from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/053014_mbk_report.pdf
5. Adelman, H., & Taylor, L. (2015). Transforming student and learning supports: Developing a unified, comprehensive, and equitable system. Center for Mental Health in Schools. Retrieved from: http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/newinitiative.html
6. Basch, C. E., et al. (2015). Health barriers to learning and the education opportunity gap. Education Commission of the States. Retrieved from: http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/01/20/69/12069.pdf
7. Thigpen, D., & Freedberg, L. (2014). The power of parents: Research underscores the impact of parent involvement in schools. EdSource and New America Media. Retrieved from: http://edsource.org/2014/the-power-of-parents-what-the-research-shows/61862
8. Banks, A., et al. (2015). Changing the equation: Ensuring the Common Core math standards enable all students to excel in California schools. Education Trust–West. Retrieved from: https://west.edtrust.org/resource/report-changing-the-equation-ensuring-the-common-core-math-standards-enable-all-students-to-excel-in-california-schools
9. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (n.d.). Principles to actions: Executive summary. Retrieved from: http://www.nctm.org/PtA
- Websites with Related Information
- American Institutes for Research: Mathematics Education
- California Dept. of Education: Mathematics
- Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, WestEd
- Education Commission of the States
- Education Trust–West
- Institute of Education Sciences: What Works Clearinghouse
- Public Policy Institute of California: K-12 Education
- Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
- The Early Learning Lab
- Key Reports
- Achievement Gap Points to Ineffectiveness of Decades of Reforms, 2015, EdSource, Freedberg, L.
- Changing the Equation: Ensuring the Common Core Math Standards Enable All Students to Excel in California Schools, 2015, Education Trust–West, Banks, A., et al.
- Executive Summary: Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2015, Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Yakes, C., & Sprague, M.
- Health and Academic Achievement, 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Improving the Opportunities and Outcomes of California's Students Learning English: Findings from School District–University Collaborative Partnerships, 2015, Policy Analysis for California Education, Umansky, I. M., et al.
- Math in the Early Years: A Strong Predictor for Later School Success, 2013, Education Commission of the States, Clements, D., & Sarama, J.
- Math Scores Add Up for Hispanic Students: States and School Districts Notable for Recent Gains by Hispanic Students in Mathematics, 2014, Child Trends Hispanic Institute, Pane, N. E.
- Principles to Actions: Executive Summary, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Results of the 2015-16 Smarter Balanced Assessments in California, 2016, Education Trust–West
- The Educational, Psychological, and Social Impact of Discrimination on the Immigrant Child, 2015, Migration Policy Institute, Brown, C. S.
- The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015: What It Means for Equity and Accountability in California, 2015, Education Trust–West
- The Local Control Funding Formula: An Essential EdSource Guide, 2016, EdSource
- The Power of Parents: Research Underscores the Impact of Parent Involvement in Schools, 2014, EdSource & New America Media, Thigpen, D., & Freedberg, L.
- The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model, 2015, Journal of School Health, 85(11), Hunt, H. (Ed.)
- Time for Equity: Expanding Access to Learning, 2015, Voices in Urban Education, 40, Renée, M. (Ed.)
- County/Regional Reports
- 2014 Solano Children's Report Card, Children's Network of Solano County
- 2014 Youth Wellbeing Report Card, Santa Monica Cradle to Career
- 2016 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- Collaborating for Equity: A Scan of the Los Angeles Educational Ecosystem, 2015, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Potochnik, T., & Romans, A. N.
- Fresno Community Scorecard
- Orange County Community Indicators Report, 2016, Orange County Community Indicators Project
- Santa Clara County Children's Agenda: 2017 Data Book, Planned Parenthood & Kids in Common
- The 22nd Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 2016, Orange County Children's Partnership
- The Wellbeing Project, City of Santa Monica
- More Data Sources For Math Proficiency
- 2016-17 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being, Children Now
- California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Results, California Dept. of Education
- Child Trends Databank: Mathematics Proficiency
- DataQuest, California Dept. of Education
- Diversitydatakids.org, Brandeis University, Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy
- ED Data Express: Data About Elementary and Secondary Schools in the U.S., U.S. Dept. of Education
- Education Data Partnership (Ed-Data): Fiscal, Demographic, and Performance Data on California’s K-12 Schools
- KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Local Control Funding Formula Reports, California Dept. of Education
- National Center for Education Statistics: Data Tools, U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
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