CA’s Report Card Is In. It’s Not Great.

4th and 8th graders in the United States are tested every two years in reading and math. The test – called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – is widely renowned and has been administered since the 1990s. Most people call it the Nation’s Report Card.

The most recent results, released yesterday, paint an alarming picture that should concern all Californians. In 4th and 8th grade, in math and in reading, California falls near the bottom of the nation’s rankings. Hispanic 8th graders rank 43rd in reading. Low-income 4th graders rank 50th in math. It’s clear: These results show that California is not delivering on the promise of public education for all children.

Even aside from rankings, results are grim. In 8th grade reading, for example, black students have an average score that is 28 points lower than white students. That’s wholly unacceptable. What’s worse: That gap is not significantly different than it was in 1998 – 20 years ago.

In 4th grade math, only 18% of low-income students are scoring proficient or above. That’s not just a few kids – the majority of California’s students are low-income. Compare that with their higher income peers – where 54% are scoring proficient or above. That gap hasn’t budged since 2000.

Results in districts are disheartening, too. In Los Angeles Unified School District, the performance gap between white and Latino students widened since 2015. In San Diego, less than 1 in 5 black students scored proficient on 4th grade math.

You won’t hear much from politicians or bureaucrats in Sacramento about these results. The status quo is alright with them – and these scores are part of that. But we think data from the NAEP signal a desperate need for change.

To us, it’s simple: Kids deserve someone who will have the courage to do what’s right. Marshall Tuck refuses to accept the status quo and knows these NAEP scores are unacceptable. Through investing more in teachers, opening up more options for high quality public schools and shining a light on school funding inequities, Marshall will reject the decades of achievement gaps shrugged off by Sacramento politicians and demand better for every child in this state. That’s why were on #TeamTuck. Join us.