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English and Math Proficiency Continues to Increase for California's Eleventh Graders

Number of students proficient in math nearly doubles in seven-year span

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(September 13, 2012) – California State University announced today that its Early Assessment Program (EAP) testing results for 2012 show the number of eleventh graders ready for college level English and math continues to increase since the voluntary test was launched in 2006. Nearly 39,000 more students are demonstrating proficiency in English than when EAP testing was first instituted  while the number of high school juniors who are ready for college level math has nearly doubled in that same time span.

With seven years (2006-2012) of complete testing data available, key findings include:

  • The EAP participation rate has increased by 10 percentage points with 82% of high school juniors taking the voluntary test. The number of students participating in the voluntary assessment has increased by 70,000 students to more than 386,000 statewide. 
  • There has been a steady increase both in the number of students taking at least Algebra II and in the EAP math results. Almost two-thirds of public high school juniors completed Algebra II (needed to be eligible for CSU in 2012), and the number of students demonstrating proficiency in math has increased by 88 percent since 2006.

"Obtaining a college degree is more important than ever and the continued increase in participation rates shows that students are utilizing EAP testing as a key tool to gauge their readiness for college," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. 

Overall, the number of students participating in the math portion increased from just over 137,000 to surpassing 200,000 for the first time. Although the math proficiency rate remains at 15 percent, the number of students ready for college level math topped 30,000 for the first time.

In English, the number of students participating rose from 312,167 to over 383,000 (a participation rate of 87 percent of all juniors), while the number of students gauged as college ready increased from 48,072 (15 percent) to 86,939 (23 percent).

“Knowing their strengths and weaknesses before heading off to college gives students confidence in their abilities as well as time to improve areas of concern,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “EAP testing is an ideal early warning system that can help create greater success and better results.”

EAP Math
While the proficiency rate has increased by a modest 3 percentage-points, the number of students ready for college-level math has increased from 16,120 to 30,426, an increase of approximately 88 percent. 

EAP English
Participation in EAP English is up to 87 percent statewide.  Proficiency rates are up to 23 percent, and there were 86,939 students demonstrating college readiness in 2012.  The spring 2012 EAP English test included a new category, English Conditional, that assessed students as ready for college-level English if they successfully complete a full senior year in an Expository Reading and Writing Course, an Advanced Placement English class or the International Baccalaureate. Nearly 60,000 high school seniors whose EAP scores show they were "conditionally ready" will be able to use their senior year to become fully prepared in English.

Background
The EAP is a collaborative effort between the CSU, California Department of Education, and the California State Board of Education. The goal is to ensure that the state's college-bound high school seniors are college ready and have mastered the content skills in English and mathematics taught by California's K-12 teachers. Administered as a voluntary assessment of college readiness as part of the California Standards Test (CST), EAP tests help high school students determine if they are on track for college level math and English. By receiving results prior to their final year of high school, students can make better use of their senior year to prepare them for college. English testing is optional for 11th graders and math testing is optional for those students who are enrolled in Algebra II.

In addition, a key component of the Early Assessment Program focuses on facilitating professional development for K-12 teachers by preparing them to teach expository reading and writing.  It also prepares teachers to align 12th grade math instruction with CSU's expectations for entry-level students.

To view 2012 EAP results, go here.

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About the California State University
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