Less than a third of California students met or exceeded standards on new science test
At a time when California is placing a greater emphasis on science education, most students did not score at a proficient level on the state’s new science test, with scores especially low among several student groups.
The results of the test were released this week. They represent the first scores on the California Science Test, a new test developed by the California Department of Education, to measure progress on the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by California in 2013.
Statewide, 32 percent of 5th-graders, 31 percent of 8th-graders and 28 percent of high school students met or exceeded standards on the California science test aligned to the new standards.
The scores also show a wide gap between black and Latino students and their white and Asian peers: Across all grades, 14 percent of black students and 19 percent of Latino students met or exceeded standards, compared with 44 percent of white students and 59 percent of Asian students.
“These scores confirm trends we see in other data and the other state tests,” said Christopher Nellum, deputy director of research and policy at the Education Trust-West, a civil rights and education equity research and advocacy organization. “For us, it underscores that the education systems are failing African American, Latinx, English learners and low-income students. And because of that we aren’t meeting the state science standards.”