California’s poor students rank next to last on national test

California’s poor students performed worse on a national exam than needy kids from all but one other state, according to results released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Congratulations, folks. We beat Alaska.

These students’ lackluster scores on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress come despite the state’s $31.2 billion investment in their learning under a new school funding method championed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2013.

And although the average California fourth-grader from a low-income family scored a few points higher on this most recent test than a decade ago, poor students’ scores on the test have declined since the state’s investment.

CALmatters reported last year that Brown’s school funding policy, known as the Local Control Funding Formula, has largely failed to bridge the academic achievement gap between the state’s poor students and their wealthier peers.

Poor black boys’ performance on the exam is driving down the disadvantaged students’ average score.

African-American fourth-graders from low-income families scored 210 on a 500-point scale in math—10 points worse than poor Hispanic boys and almost 15 points worse than poor white boys.

CALmatters recently examined these disparities in San Francisco, a hub for technological innovation that also happens to be the state’s worst county for black student achievement.

California’s black boys are struggling the most of all, the national test data show.

Poor fourth-grade African-American boys scored almost 10 points below their female counterparts, a phenomenon CALmatters examined last year as well.

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