1 in 4 WCASD Freshmen Competent in Math
Test scores in the WCASD have declined by 48 percent over five years. The data shows that only 1 out of 4 WCASD freshmen are competent in math.
Today we're going to reexamine the same data, but from a slightly different perspective. Up until now we've been looking at the percentage of students who struggle to perform basic math. Now we're going to flip that model and look instead at the percentage of students who are achieving at math: those that scored advanced or proficient on the PSSAs.
We're going to follow the class of 2026 (current 9th graders) through the years to examine their PSSA scores.
In 2017, 73% of WCASD 3rd graders scored advanced or proficient in math.
In 2018 67.7% of WCASD 4th graders scored advanced or proficient in math.
In 2019, 66.5% of WCASD 5th graders scored advanced or proficient in math.
In 2020 PSSAs were canceled due to the pandemic.
In 2021, 38% of WCASD 7th graders scored advanced or proficient in math.
In 2022, 24.8% of WCASD 8th graders scored advanced or proficient in math.
This means that 3 out of 4 WCASD freshmen aren't competent in math!
*Shouldn't the percentage of students who are proficient and/or advanced be increasing each year instead of decreasing?
It would be easy to point to Covid/pandemic/lockdown/school closures/masks as the problem; but the truth is, academic performance was in decline long before Covid. However, there has been a steep decline since Covid, with low scores affecting students as young as nine.
*In 2015-16 WCASD stared using Math in Focus, a program based on the Singapore approach to teaching/learning mathematics. At the beginning of this school year (2022-23) the district rolled out a new math program for elementary, called Illustrative Math. Is the math curriculum at fault? Is the comprehensive plan inadequate? Is Covid/school closures the problem? Is the failure to tie equity to academic achievement the culprit? Regardless of the myriad causes, the question remains: what is the district doing to course correct?