By SDCN Staff
San Diego, CA–The San Diego Unified School District has released preliminary results of the California Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.
The test scores reflect the academic performance of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a school community, we need to adopt a new mindset when we review the assessment results, which are a snapshot during unprecedented times,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Fabiola Bagula said. “What is important is how we respond when we begin to discuss the results. This means not blaming our students, not blaming our teachers, not blaming ourselves.”
The assessment results provide new baseline data on student achievement and are among several measures San Diego Unified relies on to gauge academic performance. The data will help inform the district’s efforts to meet the needs of all students amid the pandemic and going forward.
“These results allow us to further understand the strengths and needs of our students. We need to ask questions to better understand how we can support our students, and create learning conditions that are grounded in equity so all students can succeed. San Diego Unified is committed to helping our students recover – with both academic and social-emotional support – so that all children have the ability to thrive at school,” Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson said.
Results of the state assessments show:
- Districtwide, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards in ELA declined 4 percentage points, and 7.4 percentage points in math, since 2019.
- ELA scores for our Students with Individualized Education Plans increased by 2.3 points.
- Test scores declined for economically disadvantaged students by 4.1 points in ELA and 7.7 points in math. Scores declined for non-economically disadvantaged students, by 5.8 points in ELA and 9.4 points in math.
- Test scores declined for English learners by 2.3 points in ELA, and by 5.6 points in math Scores declined for English-fluent students by 4.4 points in ELA and 7.9 points in math.
Board of Education President Dr. Whitehurst-Payne noted that the pandemic exacerbated existing trends in student performance, and has reinforced the need to focus on the whole child.
“All of us have been impacted by the pandemic. However, some students and families have been affected more than others. We cannot forget that many of our students are still grieving for the family members, caregivers, and loved ones they lost to COVID-19,” Dr. Whitehurst-Payne said. “Our work will focus on the whole child, and all members of our San Diego Unified community must rally to support our students and staff to ensure students feel a sense of belonging and can reach their full potential.”
State standardized test results mirror academic performance trends nationwide following the pandemic, including the recently released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
To help students recover from learning loss and the pandemic, San Diego Unified has new and expanded support in place to meet the academic and mental health needs of students.
The academic initiatives include expanded early education programs, including Universal Transitional Kindergarten, extended learning opportunities outside the classroom, subject-area supports for enhanced mathematics, science, technology, engineering arts, and literacy, and expanded visual and performing arts instruction and opportunities. There will be a priority on standards-based learning, teaching, and grading.
The California Department of Education plans to release official test results later this year.
The SBA for ELA and mathematics are administered to students in grades three through eight, and grade eleven. They are designed to measure students’ mastery of state standards in ELA and mathematics.