Download & Other Tools
- Definition: Percentage of public school students in 10th grade passing the mathematics section of the California High School Exit Exam (e.g., 85% of California 10th graders passed the math section of the exit exam in 2014).Number of public school students in 10th grade passing the mathematics section of the California High School Exit Exam.
- Data Source: California Dept. of Education, California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) Research Files. Accessed at http://cahsee.cde.ca.gov/datafiles.asp (Oct. 2014).
- Footnote: Years presented are the final year of a school year (e.g. 2013-2014 is shown as 2014). These data are not comparable with data from previous years. For numbers, LNE (Low Number Event) refers to data that have been suppressed because there were 10 or fewer students tested. For percentages, LNE refers to data that have been suppressed because there were fewer than 20 students with passing scores. N/A means that data are not available.
- Measures of Math Proficiency on Kidsdata.org
Kidsdata.org reports the percentage of public school students who have scored proficient or higher on the Algebra I California Standards Test (CST), as well as this information by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In order to score Proficient, a student must demonstrate a competent and adequate understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area; scoring Advanced requires a comprehensive and complex understanding.
In addition, kidsdata.org provides the percentage of 10th grade public school students who passed the mathematics section of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE); this also is available by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
The Algebra I CST is an end-of-course test taken by public school students in grades 7-11 who are enrolled in Algebra I. The test assesses student achievement according to state standards. The CST data are different from the CAHSEE data in that they are available by level of proficiency.
The primary purpose of the CAHSEE, according to the California Department of Education, is 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 addresses state standards in grades 6 and 7, and in Algebra I. Between grades 10 and 12, students have 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.
- Math Proficiency
- College Eligibility
- Demographics of Children with Special Needs
- Disconnected Youth
- English Learners
- High School Graduation
- 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)
- Pupil Support Service Personnel
- Reading Proficiency
- 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). Research has found that taking higher-level math and science courses is correlated with attending and graduating from college (1). Mastering algebra, in particular, is critical as it is a high school graduation requirement for all California students, and algebra is considered a “gateway” to college preparatory courses (2). Experts describe algebra as "a foundation and language system on which higher order mathematics, science, technology, and engineering courses are built" (2). Large disparities persist by student socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic group for both algebra enrollment and successful course completion (3, 4).
Nationwide, increasing emphasis is being placed on children's academic achievement in mathematics and other subjects (1, 4). Though U.S. and California student math scores have improved since the 1990s, California’s scores consistently rank among the lowest in the nation (3).
For more information on math proficiency, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
Sources for this narrative:
1. Child Trends. (2012). Mathematics proficiency. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=mathematics-proficiency
2. Musen, L. (2010). Pre-algebra and algebra enrollment and achievement. Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University. Retrieved from: http://www.annenberginstitute.org/pdf/LeadingIndicator_Math.pdf
3. National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The Nation's report card: Mathematics 2011. U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/main2011/2012458.asp
4. Bitter, C., & O’Day, J. (2010). Raising expectations for mathematics instruction in California: Algebra and beyond. California Collaborative on District Reform Policy and Practice Brief. Retrieved from: http://www.cacollaborative.org/sites/default/files/CA_Collaborative_8th_Grade_Algebra.pdf
- How Children Are Faring
Statewide and in many counties, the percentage of students in grades 7-11 who scored proficient or higher on the Algebra I CST increased between 2003 and 2013. Still, only about a third (36%) of California students in those grades demonstrated algebra proficiency in 2013. Among counties with available data, figures ranged from 13% to 51% that year. Though disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status persist in algebra proficiency, considerable gains were made by California's economically disadvantaged students and those in every racial/ethnic group (for which data are available) from 2003 to 2013.
With regard to the high school exit exam, 85% of California 10th graders passed the mathematics portion in 2014. 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
In 2013, California modified its Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, requiring a focus on the drivers of math achievement. The new standards emphasize developing “habits of mind” to foster mathematical understanding and encourage real-world problem solving skills (1, 2).
According to research and subject experts, other policy options that could improve math proficiency include:
- Investing in quality preschool for California children, to promote kindergarten readiness and lay the foundation for later achievement (3)
- Analyzing district and school-level data on student achievement and progress by racial/ethnic group, especially for children of color and low-income students so that data can inform policy (4)
- Ensuring that state, district and school-level policies provide the necessary support to allow students to succeed with state math standards, particularly in the middle grades; this includes improving placement policies, adopting appropriate curriculum in a timely way, and ensuring teacher and student preparation for math aligned with new content standards (5)
- Encouraging and investing in comprehensive, evidence-based policies to promote family involvement in school, as this is strongly related to children’s academic achievement (6)
For more policy ideas on math proficiency in California, see the Research & Links section on kidsdata.org or visit the Center on the Future of Teaching and Learning, the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse, Education Trust-West, EdSource, and California Algebra Forum. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under Reading Proficiency, High School Graduation and Family Income & Poverty.
Sources for this narrative:
1. California Department of Education. (2013). Common core state standards resources. Retrieved from: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cc/
2. Neal, F., et al. (2012). College bound in middle school and high school? How math course sequences matter. The Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at WestEd. Retrieved from: http://www.wested.org/research_study/college-bound-in-middle-school-and-high-school/
3. Weiland, C., & Yoshikawa, H. (2013). Impacts of a prekindergarten program on children's mathematics, language, literacy, executive function, and emotional skills. Child Development. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12099/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
4. Stuart, L., & Hahnel, C. (2011). A report card on district achievement: How low-income, African-American, and Latino students fare in California school districts. The Education Trust-West. Retrieved from: http://www.edtrust.org/west/publication/a-report-card-on-district-achievement-how-low-income-african-american-and-latino-st
5. Williams, T., et al. (2011). Preparation, placement, proficiency: Improving middle grades math performance. Policy and Practice Brief. Mountain View, CA: EdSource. Retrieved from: http://edsource.org/wp-content/publications/pub11-middle-grades-math.pdf
6. Weiss, H., et al. (2013). Preparing educators to engage families: Case studies using an ecological systems framework, third edition. Retrieved from: http://www.hfrp.org/family-involvement/publications-resources/preparing-educators-to-engage-families-case-studies-using-an-ecological-systems-framework-third-edition
- Websites with Related Information
- California Department of Education: Mathematics
- Early Edge California
- Education Commission of the States
- Public Policy Institute of California: K-12 Education
- Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
- The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, WestEd
- The Education Trust-West
- What Works Clearinghouse, Institute of Education Sciences
- 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.
- 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, Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, Umansky, I., et al.
- Math Scores Add Up for Hispanic Students: States and School Districts Notable for Recent Gains by Hispanic Students in Mathematics, 2014, Child Trends, Pane, N.
- Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Executive Summary), 2015, Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Yakes, C. & Sprague, M.
- Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (Executive Summary), 2015, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Student Achievement in California: 2015 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASP) Results, 2015, Education Trust-West
- The Educational, Psychological, and Social Impact of Discrimination on the Immigrant Child, 2015, Migration Policy Institute, Spears Brown, C.
- 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, 2015, EdSource
- The Power of Parents: Research Underscores the Impact of Parent Involvement in Schools, 2014, EdSource and New America Media
- The Progress of Education Reform: Math in the Early Years, A Strong Predictor for Later School Success, 2013, Education Commission of the States, Clements, D. & Sarama, J.
- 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 of Urban Education, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
- 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
- 2015 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- Children's Report Card, Sacramento County Children's Coalition
- Collaborating for Equity: A Scan of the Los Angeles Educational Ecosystem, 2015, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, Potochnik, T. & Romans, A.
- Fresno Community Scorecard, Fresno Business Council and Valley PBS
- Orange County Community Indicators Report, 2015, Orange County Community Indicators Project
- Santa Clara County Children's Agenda: 2015 Data Book, Planned Parenthood and Kids in Common
- The 21st Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 2015, Orange County Children's Partnership
- The Wellbeing Project, City of Santa Monica
- More Data Sources For Math Proficiency
- California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Results, California Department of Education
- California District Report Cards, Education Trust-West
- 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. Department of Education
- Education Data Partnership (Ed-Data): Fiscal, Demographic, and Performance Data on California’s K-12 Schools
- Local Control Funding Formula Reports, California Department of Education
- National Center for Education Statistics: Data Tools, U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences