The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test scores were released today. While California districts across the state showed an overall improvement, students in the Coachella Valley area did not do as well as other districts in Riverside County.

The president of the Palm Springs Teachers Association, Mark Acker, says there are more factors to the test results than just a number labeled to a district.   

The CAASPP is a state test used to reflect students' "Common Core" standards comprehension. This is only the second year that the "common core standards" has been tested.

Mark Acker says he's not surprised with the results. He says that when the "STAR" state test was introduced, students scores gradually increased as they adapted to the new learning methods.

The school districts also stressed the fact that each city holds a different demographic of students and that standardized tests don't give an accurate comparison within the county. In fact, Acker says that California is working on a new "preformace index" to better understand the progress of school testing results.

It should also be noted; while the Coachella Valley scores were lower than the rest of Riverside County's, all districts increased their scores in comparison to last years.

Coachella Valley Unified School District statement in response to CAASPP test scores:

"We are actually very encouraged by these results, because last year 57 percent of students in the CVUSD failed to meet the standards for English Language Arts and 62 percent of students failed to meet standards in Math.  This means the dedicated teachers of CVUSD successfully decreased the percentage of students not meeting standards by 6% in ELA and 3% in Math.  These figures exceed the county average of 2 percent in both subjects.  We are pleased to see the programs and personnel that we have put in place are successfully helping our students to close the achievement gap with their counterparts in districts across the county."

Palm Springs Unified School District statement in response to CAASPP test scores:

"2016 CAASPP results indicate overall growth for PSUSD in both ELA and Math from 2015 results.  Results indicate increased percentages of students meeting and exceeding standards and reduced percentages of students in the "not met" range in both ELA and Math.  PSUSD's combined 6% increase in students meeting and exceeding standard in ELA was higher than that of Riverside County (increase of 4%) and that of California as a whole (increased 5%).  PSUSD's 3% increase in students meeting and exceeding standard in math equalled that of Riverside County. PSUSD also saw growth in our 11th grade EAP results, with increases in students reported as "Ready" or "Conditionally Ready" consistent with County and State increases.  We understand that there is still work to do, but we see positive momentum in our 2016 CAASPP results.  We will continue to analyze these results to assist in making decisions focused on increasing student achievement."

Desert Sands Unified School District quotes in response to CAASPP test scores:

"Our professional development plan is unmatched. We have made significant growth in our assessment this year but we have a great deal of growth to make. This release of data is really important to us as a district and to our teachers because without data we are not able to study and validate the progress we see throughout the year. We're pleased we have a solid assessment program, because at the end of the day, if you can measure it, you can improve it. We look at demographics, we know who we're serving. At the end of the day, with our district making 5 percentage points growth in both Language Arts and Math, that equals the growth of the state...We're pleased but understand we have room to grow from there."

Original Story:

Coachella Valley-area school districts lagged far behind their counterparts from across the state in math and English testing, according to results released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said overall students showed improvement statewide on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The test was implemented last year to reflect new Common Core standards, replacing the previous Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.

In the Palm Springs Unified School District, 12 percent of students exceeded the state standard in English, while 26 percent met it, 25 percent ``nearly'' met it and 37 percent failed to meet it. In math, just 8 percent of students exceeded the standard, while 15 percent met it, 29 percent nearly met it and 48 percent failed to meet it.

Numbers were significantly lower in the Coachella Valley Unified School District, where just 5 percent exceeded the state standard in English, 18 percent met it, 26 percent nearly met it and 51 percent failed to meet it. In math, 59 percent of the district's students failed to meet the state standard. Just 4 percent of students exceeded the standard, 10 percent met it and 27 percent nearly met it.

Across Riverside County, 16 percent of the more than 220,000 students who took the tests exceeded the state standard in English, up from 13 percent last year. According to the test results, 29 percent met the English standard, up from 28 percent in 2015, and 25 percent ``nearly'' met it, down from 27 percent the previous year.

In math, 11 percent of county students exceeded the standard, up from 9 percent last year, while 20 percent met the standard and 30 percent nearly met it -- compared to 19 percent and 31 percent, respectively, from 2015.

Statewide, 20 percent of students exceeded the standard in English, while 29 percent met the standard, 24 percent nearly met it and 28 percent did not meet it. In math, 17 percent exceeded the standard, while 20 percent met it and 28 percent nearly met it and 35 percent failed to meet it.

"The higher test scores show that the dedication, hard work and patience of California's teachers, parents, school employees and administrators are paying off," Torlakson said. "Together we are making progress towards upgrading our educational system to prepare all students for careers and college in the 21st Century."

Torlakson noted that the statewide test results continued to show an achievement gap, with 37 percent of Latino students and 31 percent of black students meeting or exceeding standards in English, compared to 64 percent of white students.

"The achievement gap is pernicious and persistent, and we all need to work together to find solutions that help all groups rise, while narrowing the gap," he said.