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Student Achievement Rises Again

 

New data show steady gains in student achievement among students in the Long Beach Unified School District.  The latest improvement continues a trend of significant growth seen over the previous two years.

Students have improved their performance on state tests and Advanced Placement college preparatory exams.  Graduation rates are rising along with other measures of college readiness, including completion of course requirements for admission to University of California and California State University systems.

Fourth-year results on the newest state tests in English and math showed significant increases in student performance across ethnic subgroups and among special education, English learner and homeless/foster students.  Many schools again saw double digit gains in the percentage of students meeting state standards, and several schools saw their achievement gaps close by 50 percent or more compared to their prior year’s achievement for their lowest and highest performing subgroups.  Numerous schools achieved academic growth at rates of more than one and half times their target.  Overall, the school district has achieved some of the greatest gains among the state’s major school systems.

“These results are encouraging.  More schools are finding ways to improve achievement,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said.  “All of our student subgroups are progressing.  This year we’ll be working harder than ever to accelerate the improvement of lower performing subgroups so we can reduce and eliminate achievement gaps.”

Throughout the school district, 51 percent of students met or exceeded standards in English, up 3 percent over last year, and up 9 percent since 2015.  In math, 43 percent of students districtwide met or exceeded standards, up 4 percent over last year, and up 13 percent since 2015.  The latest data were presented by staff during a public Board of Education workshop earlier this month.

Graduation rates increased here for the sixth year in a row, again surpassing state and county rates.  Students of color in Long Beach schools also outperformed their peers countywide and statewide, and eight high schools here reported graduation rates above 90 percent.

LBUSD’s overall graduation rate is 86 percent, up 1.8 percent over last year and surpassing both Los Angeles County’s rate of 80.8 percent and California’s 82.7 percent.

More students are enrolling in Advanced Placement courses, and more students are taking and passing AP exams.  Among students in grades 11 and 12, 47 percent enrolled in at least one AP course last year, up 1 percent over the prior year, and up 13 percent since 2013-14.  Students took a record high of 14,786 AP exams last school year, passing a record 6,624 tests.  Even as the number of attempted tests increased, so did the pass rate, improving by 4 percent over the prior year.

More students here are completing the “A-G” requirements for admission to the University of California and California State University systems.  The school district’s projected A-G completion rate for 2017-18 is 56 percent, an improvement of eight percentage points in just one year, and an increase of 19 percentage points since 2011-12.

View the entire set of slides from the recent Board of Education workshop presentation.