WHITTIER – Whittier Union students are outperforming their peers across Los Angeles County and California in English language arts (ELA), math and science, according to data provided by the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which monitors Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and California Science Test (CAST) scores throughout the state.
CAASPP data shows that for SBAC and CAST tests taken during the 2021-22 school year, the percentage of Whittier Union students who met or exceeded state standards was 62% for ELA, 32% for math and 31% for science. These content areas outpaced those in the county and state by several percentage points, a first for Whittier Union since CAASPP assessments began in 2014.
In Los Angeles County, the average scores were 54% for ELA, 26% for math, and 26% for science. In California the average scores were 55% for ELA, 27% for math and 28% for science.
“The CAASPP data shows that our students are continuing to grow and make gains in their education,” Superintendent Dr. Monica Oviedo said. “This is especially important for a community that is made up almost entirely of underrepresented students and potential first-generation college goers. At Whittier Union we have a team of dedicated teachers, counselors and support staff who work tirelessly to ensure student success. We want our students to know that a college education is their destiny, if they work hard and strive to achieve.”
The CAASPP data shows significant gains in ELA and science scores since the 2018-19 school year, the last year state testing was done in the classroom. Math scores in Whittier Union were one percentage point lower. Due to COVID-19, testing was suspended during the 2019-20 school year, and in the 2020-21 school year students had the option of taking the test at home.
The District credits the strong showing to its professional development approach, which is teacher-driven and focuses on collaboration. Teachers meet regularly to discuss best practices, look over tests and analyze results, supported by school site Curriculum Improvement Teams that are led by department chairs.
Other support systems include additional counselors, social-emotional support, student mentors and instructional aides in classrooms with high-needs students, and lower teacher-to-student ratios during instructional support time.
“Our support systems have helped our students stay focused and perform at very high levels,” Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development Dan Esquerra said. “Another major benefit has been allowing our teachers to collaborate while analyzing assessments and talking about best practices, enabling our students to outperform the state and county despite the challenges associated with the pandemic.”
WUHSD_CAASPP1: Whittier Union High School District students have outperformed Los Angeles County and California students in English language arts, math and science, according to data from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.