Updated 01:15 AM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

California's Latino & Black Students See Significant Drop in Academic Achievement

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A new batch of tests conducted in California and elsewhere showed that Latino and black students have lower academic performances than their white and Asian counterparts.

The tests, which experts say have "a more accurate gauge of academic skills," are proof that the declining academic achievements of Latino and black students that have existed in previous years are still present up to now, Los Angeles Times reported.

A test given to public school students two years ago indicated a 35% points gap in English between Asian and black students. In the new test, the gap increased up to 44%, with the Asian students' scores dropping the least compared to their white, Latino, and black peers, Los Angeles Times noted.

"This is going to show the real achievement gap," said Chris Minnich, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, as quoted by the news outlet. "We are asking more out of our kids and I think that's a good thing."

Minnich added that "there's no question that when we raised the bar for students that we're going to have to support our lower-achieving students even more so than we are now," Los Angeles Times added.

The most recent tests are based on state learning goals for each grade called the Common Core, currently implemented by 42 U.S. states, Los Angeles Times reported. For the first time, the exams were conducted through a computer, with questions designed to be more difficult depending on a student's answers. Test scoring is in harmony with the students' needs for a successful four-year college course, placing the exams in a higher standard than the past ones.

"There's a problem and it's not, per se, the test," said Bill Lucia from the advocacy group EdVoice, as quoted by Los Angeles Times. "There is something going on here when you talk about the difference in the size of the gap, particularly in math."

In their Math tests, 69% of Asian students reached the state targets in contrast to 49% of whites, 21% of Latinos, and 16% of blacks. According to Lucia, California's future is determined by colored students graduating from schools with ample skills that are needed to do well in college and jobs, the news outlet noted.

Latino Students Soar in Advanced Placement Examinations

It was recently reported that California's Latino and black students scored past their peers from other states in Advanced Placement examinations.

This year's results of the College Board showed that 53.1% Latino students in California got a 3 or higher on at least one test, compared with 50% of students in other states, according to a separate report from LA Times. California black students also scored higher (43%) in contrast to elsewhere's 32.3%.

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