Despite budget cuts, San Diego Unified test scores gain for 4th straight year

by on August 17, 2010 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Education, San Diego

Achievement Gap Narrows in Some Areas; Work Still Needed

SAN DIEGO  San Diego Unified’s results on 2010 state tests show across the board gains for the fourth straight year, with more students than ever ranking “advanced” in their subject knowledge.

The results of the annual California Standards Test released today show the district has five straight years of overall gains in English language arts and science scores, while math continues a four-year climb. This good news is tempered by recognition that scores still show an “achievement gap” among ethnic groups. Data relating to the achievement gap – test scores among ethnic groups – is still being analyzed, but early results show the gap is narrowing in some areas, albeit slowly.

“We need to salute our students first, who have been working very hard to learn the skills they’ll need for the future,” said Superintendent Bill Kowba. “Our teachers and staff also deserve recognition for a job well done.”

Growth continued in the three subject areas. In English Language Arts, overall scores show 29 percent of the students proficient and 27 percent are advanced – up from 23 percent in 2009 – while 26 percent had a basic skill level, down 1 percent from 2009. Below basic and far below basic levels also declined. Students with an advanced level of mathematics grew 2 percent to 23 percent and those considered proficient remained at 25 percent; basic went up one point to 23, while below basic and far below basic declined to 20 and 8 respectively.

Science scores rose as well, up 8 points to 30 percent advanced, while proficient remained at 27 percent; students with a basic level dropped two points to 24 percent, while below basic dropped 2 points to 11 percent and far below basic was down 2 points to 9 percent.

“These gains in student achievement have come during a period when our district has sustained unprecedented budget cuts,” said Kowba. “But even in the face of draconian budget cuts, schools throughout the district have been making gains in student achievement with a community-based reform process that encourages teacher  collaboration, data-driven teaching strategies, a broad curriculum and strong behavioral standards and support for students.”

A summary of available results are available online at

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

jettyboy August 17, 2010 at 9:23 am

Maybe someone should send this information to San Diegans 4 Great Schools, they apparently missed all of it.
Very convenient of them if you want to privatize public schools. Or instead of politeness showing where they missed something, you could just say “they are fucking liars who want to MAKE MONEY off the school systems, without doing anything.”


RB August 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

The direction of these results are an improvement but it is you that missed something if you think these results are good. Having 40-50% of your students below proficient is not a good reason to call other people names and start to celebrate. Also, could give me a link were this group requested the schools be privatized?


doug porter August 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

that group is not openly calling for privatization of public schools. many people suspect that’s behind their agenda, but it’s just a suspicion. the problem is that they won’t say what their agenda is–other than “we’re looking for feedback about governance”. several of their members have been made statements to the news media suggesting that a) the mayor should appoint the school board or b) the school board should be expanded by an appointed committee. if you look at who’s publicly involved with the group it’s pretty easy to make a connection back to the old Chamber of Commerce “education committee” that got busted back in the 1990’s for illegal campaign contributions in the Board of Education races.
The meme that privatization is part of their agenda originates from the writings of conservo-libertarians who see privatization of most government services as an ultimate goal for their movement.


RB August 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I understand many people are suspect of their agenda. We should be vigilant of the motives of all adult groups involved in the schools. However, it is still a possibility that improvement not privatization is their goal. I am not for an appointed board.


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