| Aug 18, 2010
For the first time in years, more than half of California's public school students are reading at grade level or above, new test results showed Monday, August 16. "This is cause for excitement," said California's schools chief Jack O'Connell. "Despite consistent, severe and devastating (budget) cuts, our schools continue to prepare our students."
Of the nearly 5 million students in grades two to 11 tested in reading last spring--including students whose first language isn't English--52% scored "proficient or above," continuing a trend of yearly improvement since 2003, when just 35% of students read at that level.
Since 2003, O'Connell said, school curriculum has adhered to state academic standards widely considered among the toughest in the nation. Progress has been steady, he said, even though more than half the state's students are poor, a quarter speak little English, and many move around so much they lose out on consistency. What hasn't improved is the state's achievement gap between ethnic groups. Read more in The San Francisco Chronicle online.