State assessment reveals ‘troubling’ disparity among San Mateo County students

in Education/Featured/Headline

San Mateo County students on average performed better than other counties in a state assessment last Spring that tests their performance and progress. But the results also show that performance gaps between all students and those who are economically disadvantaged in the county more than double state averages, according to the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE).

In the results of the 2019 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which tests for English and Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics, 61.3 percent of San Mateo County students met or exceeded standards on the ELA assessment, up .4 percent over last year, and 53.4 percent of students met or exceeded standards in mathematics, an increase of .3 percent. Both of those rates are well above the state average, as indicated in the chart.

But the SMCOE noted a “troubling” gap impacting economically disadvantaged students in the county and vowed to work closely with school districts to address inequities.

Statewide, the gap between all students and disadvantaged students is 12 percent for both ELA and mathematics. In San Mateo County, the gap is 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

“It’s clear we have to deepen our commitment to systemic change and sharpen our efforts to serve each and every student,” San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee said.

SMCOE noted that some districts in San Mateo County saw significant gains for students with disabilities, including the Brisbane, Portola Valley, Millbrae, and Hillsborough school districts. Students from several student groups in the Belmont-Redwood Shores and La Honda-Pescadero Unified school districts made noticeable progress in mathematics, education officials added

SMCOE says it will examine data and continue to work closely with districts on solutions to close the gaps in equity.

For the full statement by SMCOE, go here.


  1. From the graph, it looks like the economically disadvantaged students in the county performed almost identically to the economically disadvantaged students in the state. The gap is large because the average student in the county overperformed, not because the disadvantaged students underperformed. So, it’s much less of an emergency than the article makes it seem.

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