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California Student Test Scores Show Improvement, Continued Racial Gap

SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) -- California has released results of standardized student testing from 11,000 public schools across the state, and the results are decidedly mixed.

The results were from the testing known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson touted that the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards increased at every grade and in every student group. "For African-Americans, in English and Language Arts, (the improvements) weren't five percent increase they were 10 percent increase," said Torlakson.

However, less than 40 percent of kids did well in math and only 48 percent of students met standards in English.

In addition, a troubling racial divide continues to be evident in the test results based on a new set of learning goals called the Common Core.

Among Asian students, 76 percent met or exceeded the English and Math standards, while 67 percent of whites did. Meanwhile only 37 percent of Latino students met or exceeded standards and only 31 percent of black kids did.

Despite the improved scores, Peter Allen with San Jose Unified School District acknowledged the racial achievement gaps exists for a number or reasons. "I think there are a number of factors, socio-economics being key among them, but also, I think, it is institutionalized prejudices and what you call structural prejudices."

At San Leandro High School Wednesday, Torlakson noted the school employs strategies that appear to be closing the achievement gap.

"They have programs, career education, pathways … academic pathways," said Torlakson. "We want to take schools like this that are high-performing that are closing the achievement gap and bring about a sharing of their strategies … that have made it possible."

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