Thumbs down: Sonoma County students struggle with test scores
By The Editorial Board | Aug 30, 2016

The good news is that students in Sonoma County schools performed better on the latest state assessment exams compared to the previous year. The bad news? Less than half of all students were deemed proficient in English language arts, and barely one-third of students were considered proficient in math. Performance for local students overall was about the same as the state average, which is not particularly encouraging.

The second-year results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress tests showed that 49 percent of all students in Sonoma County met or exceeded levels in English, compared with 46 percent in 2015. In math, 36 percent of county students were deemed proficient, compared with 33 percent in 2015.

Statewide, 48 percent of students met or exceeded English standards, and 37 percent met or exceeded math standards.

What should have local parents and students particularly concerned is that certain segments of students — including English language learners, African-Americans, low-income and Latino — were lagging even farther behind in their scores.

As Staff Writer Cristi Warren reported on Friday, there were some bright spots to be found in these results. For example, the percentage of students at Roseland School District that met or exceeded math standards increased 9 points, and the percentage of students from the Sonoma Valley Unified School District that were proficient in math jumped 8 points. All the same, Sonoma County still has a ways to go before it can claim — like fictional Lake Wobegon, Minnesota — that all its children are above average.