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Kern students fare a little worse in 2020-21 state assessment scores

School testing (File)
Posted at 12:06 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 17:35:58-05

(KERO) — Kern County students grades 3-8 and 11 fared a little worse in data for the 2020-21 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress when compared with 2018-19 but had a higher rate of not meeting standards when compared to the state. Because of COVID, testing wasn't required federally during the 2019-20 school year.

According to The Associated Press, "California’s Department of Education says that only 25% of students took statewide assessment tests in 2020-21 as schools scrambled to administer the exams in the midst of the pandemic. The low participation rate makes it impossible to know the full extent of learning loss statewide during a year when most of California’s classrooms were closed and students were doing remote learning."

The department of education warned that the data is limited in both scope and use due to COVID not only creating challenges for teaching and learning but also for the administration of the statewide assessments.

Kern students didn't fare as well when compared with the state. In 2021, state students who hadn't the standard for English Language Arts/Literacy was 28.3% while Kern had 35.29% who hadn't met the standard. In 2018-19, 26.63% of state students hadn't met the standard while 32.23% of Kern students didn't meet it.

Not meeting the standard for English Language Arts/Literacy is defined as: needing substantial improvement to demonstrate the knowledge and skills for likely success in future coursework for grades 3-5. For grades 6-8, 11, students not meeting the standard also don't show likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school.

In 2020-21, students who exceeded the standard for English Language Arts/Literacy was only 14.29% when compared with 15.66% in 2018-19.

The state's definition of exceeding the standard for grades 3-5 is: demonstrating an advanced progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for likely success in future coursework.

For grades 6-8 and 11, the standard is exceeded when a student has knowledge and skills needed for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school."

The gap was larger for math as more than half of Kern County didn't meet standards. Kern students not meeting the standards for math in 2020-21 was 51.37%, while the state had 40.74% who didn't meet the standard. In 2018-19, 44.11% of Kern students didn't meet math standards, while 34.86% of California students didn't meet the standard.

California Department of Education said in a statement that the 2020–21 data affirm both the challenges created by the pandemic and state's commitment to helping students recover from COVID-19 via a bold slate of historic investments in student learning, health, and well-being.


“Our road ahead is clear: we must continue to focus our energy and resources in supporting our students, families, and educators so they not only recover from the impacts of COVID-19 but thrive in days ahead. This must remain our top priority. I am grateful to the Legislature and Governor Newsom for last year’s historic education package that provides a record-high level of funding to help transform our system to one dedicated to addressing all the impacts of COVID-19 on our students: academic, behavioral, social-emotional and physical.”
California Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond


A student met standards when they demonstrate progress toward mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for likely success in future coursework in grades 3-5. And also showing likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school for grades 6-8 and 11.

A student nearly meets the standard when they may require further development to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for likely success in future coursework in grades 3-5 and additionally for likely success in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework after high school for grades 6-8 and 11.


“The statewide performance data from last year confirm what we heard from school districts and county offices throughout the year. Namely, the challenges that students and educators faced during the pandemic were multi-dimensional and disruptive to learning and mental health. Our goal now is to move all students forward. We are thankful for the historic investments in education, and I am putting forward a bold agenda to address long- standing inequities that have caused disproportionate learning gaps for students of color and other student groups in California with a plan to transform California schools.”
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond


Here are the results compared with the state for 2020-21 and 2018-19:

2020-21 English Language Arts/Literacy (Grades 3-8, 11)
Standard exceeded: State: 21.42%; Kern: 14.29%
Standard Met: State: 27.59%; Kern: 25.64%
Standard nearly met: State: 22.69%; Kern: 24.78%
Standard not met: State: 28.30%; Kern: 35.29%

Mathematics (Grades 3-8, 11)
Standard exceeded: State: 15.78%; Kern: 7.5%
Standard Met: State: 17.98%; Kern: 14.34%
Standard nearly met: State: 25.50%; Kern: 26.79%
Standard not met: State 40.74%; Kern: 51.37%

2018-19 English Language Arts/Literacy (Grades 3-8, 11)
Standard exceeded: State: 22.48%; Kern: 15.66%
Standard Met: State: 28.62%; Kern: 27.78%
Standard nearly met: State: 22.28%; Kern: 24.33%
Standard not met: State: 26.63%; Kern: 32.23%

Mathematics (Grades 3-8, 11)
Standard exceeded: State: 19.69%; Kern: 11.32%
Standard Met: State: 20.04%; Kern: 17.51%
Standard nearly met: State: 25.41%; Kern: 27.06%
Standard not met: State 34.86%; Kern: 44.11%