The education of a child in California is about as important as the education of its parents.
The state’s education system, however, is among the least educated in the nation, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a federally funded assessment conducted annually by the Department of Education.
According to the report, California’s test scores fall short of national average scores by a wide margin.
On average, students in California receive an average of only 17 percent of their state’s high school graduation rate, while only 16.4 percent of the state’s students graduate with a four-year degree.
In contrast, the national average for all states is 27.5 percent, while California’s score is only 18.7 percent.
“California’s average test score for high school seniors is far below the national averages for students in every state except for Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, all of which score well above average,” said John L. Karpowitz, executive director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning policy think tank in Washington, D.C. “The results are consistent with a statewide system that is highly underfunded and that is increasingly being challenged by the need for a more competitive, better-educated workforce.”
States that have higher test scores have higher rates of racial and ethnic diversity, while states that have lower test scores, like New York and Illinois, have fewer minority and lower-income populations, according the report.
Lately, some states have been testing students at the beginning of their fourth or fifth grade to gauge how well they are taking the state-mandated math and reading tests.
At the same time, other states, like Texas and Alabama, are introducing testing in kindergarten to gauge students’ performance at the state level.
But the NAEP report notes that while students in many states are doing better, they do not appear to be making the gains that are needed to help them get into college.
While students in some states are graduating with a bachelor’s degree, less than 20 percent of students in the U.S. as a whole do, according for the NAIP.
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