Last week, the California Department of Education released statewide results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exams, which show that Garden Grove Unified School District students continue to outperform the county and state in both English Language Arts and mathematics.
In English Language Arts, 60.9 percent of GGUSD students met or exceeded standards compared to 50.8% across California and 59.4 percent across Orange County. In mathematics, 52.2 percent of GGUSD students met or exceeded state standards compared to 39.7 percent across California and 50.4 percent across Orange County.
GGUSD is also the highest performing district among comparable large urban school districts in the CORE group, which includes Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Santa Ana. GGUSD students perform 12 percent higher than comparable large urban districts in English Language Arts and more than 18 percent higher in math.
Recently, GGUSD was referred to as an “island of progress” in an EdSource article titled, “Slow growth, big disparities after 5 years of Smarter Balanced tests,” which examined slow growth of success on California SBAC results, and “wide disparities among ethnic, and racial, and other student groups.” According to the article, “It’s all the more important to find champions in this work. The exceptions can be highlighted and learned from,” said Neal Finkelstein, co-director of the Innovation Studies program at WestEd, the San Francisco-based research and policy organization. He cited Garden Grove, a district often praised for its stable leadership and collaboration among teachers, where 3 out of 4 students are low-income and English learners. In the latest results, 61 percent of students were at or above standards in English language arts and 52 percent in math – twice that of “similar districts.”
GGUSD high school students also excel on rigorous Advanced Placement exams with a pass rate of 65.5 percent compared to the state average of 60.8 percent, the national average of 58.5 percent, and the global average of 60.3 percent.
GGUSD continues to score well as a leader in college readiness across Orange County and throughout California. During the 2018-2019 school year, 60.5 percent of students met rigorous a-g requirements qualifying them to attend a UC or CSU school In 2017-2018, 59.7 percent of GGUSD students met a-g requirements compared to 54.5 percent in Orange County and 49.6% statewide.