California’s 2022-23 reading and math scores were recently released, revealing no improvement despite billions in additional education funds.
The statewide average for reading and math is 46.6% and 34.6%, respectively – each 5 percentage points lower than 2018-19 scores.
While many states have struggled to rebound from pandemic-era learning loss, California scores have actually worsened overall.
Compared to 2020-21 data, 4th graders have improved their scores slightly, but are still 4 to 6 points below their pre-pandemic scores.
But 8th and 11th graders have continued to decline in reading and math.
In 2021, for example, 11th graders scored 59% in reading and 34% in math. By 2023, scores dropped to 55% and 27%, respectively.
For 8th graders, scores also fell from 47% to 45.6% in reading and from 30.8% to 29.9% in math during the same two-year period.
The lackluster results come on the heels of billions in new education funding spent during the pandemic.
The Golden State spends roughly $16,300 per public school student.
The 2022 NAEP scores already indicated that funding alone isn’t the key to academic success, but California seems determined to continue to increase its education spending.
“California has proactively invested in additional resources to help our students beyond 2024, when the federal relief funding expires, and has set aside billions of dollars for direct services to support interventions for our students, including an additional $300 million ongoing for our most vulnerable students,” said Mary Nicely, chief deputy superintendent of public instruction.
Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the state board of education, also praised the “substantially increased funding.”