Achievement in California’s Public Schools: What Do Test Scores Tell Us?

Posted By: Andrea Bennett CITE News,

Please see the article by Paul Warren and Julien Lafortune in this publication by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).


Two major reforms have transformed California’s K–12 education system over the past decade. To revamp English and mathematics instruction, the Common Core standards were adopted in 2010, with district implementation beginning several years later. In 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was enacted to increase funding for disadvantaged students, reshape the state’s K–12 accountability system, and expand local control over school spending. There is now concern that these reforms are failing to improve student outcomes fast enough. To evaluate these concerns, this report examines California’s performance on two tests of English and mathematics—the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests and National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).