SCV school districts tout test scores above state average


Students in all five school districts across the Santa Clarita Valley outperformed the state averages in English and math testing, according to results released Wednesday from the state Department of Education. 

Data from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, showed that local students have developed a higher mastery of mathematics, reading and writing skills under the Common Core State Standards than students in other parts of the state.

“One of the most important things that’s so rare is that we have 69% that met or exceeded standards on the English-language arts (ELA) but we have almost the same percentage (68.7%) in math,” said Jeff Pelzel, superintendent of the Newhall School District. “Usually, math will be about 5 to 10% lower but we don’t have that. The excellence is really, really high.”

This is the fifth year students took the computer-based tests, whose scores in both subjects fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met and standard not met. 

CAASPP results are “the basis for the academic indicator” and test scores are “only one measurement out of many that the state uses to evaluate schools on the California School Dashboard, which allows educators and parents to identify strengths and weaknesses. Schools and districts that are struggling across Dashboard indicators are flagged for state assistance,” according to a news release Wednesday by the Department of Education.  

The majority of the local districts marked above the standard for both ELA and math, according to the Dashboard.

Statewide results showed that 39.7% of students passed the math portion of the assessments — a 1% increase from 2018 — and 50.9% of students met or exceeded standards in ELA, which marked a 0.99% increase from 2018 and nearly a 7% increase from 2015. 

“Education equity should mean equity for all students and right now, we are not there,” Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement. “All students should have an equal opportunity to succeed academically and enter the workforce prepared with the needed skills to compete in the industries that drive our state forward.”

To offer an equal opportunity for growth, the Newhall School District has focused on providing students with additional time and support to help children improve in specific areas by receiving 30 extra minutes to work, for example, said Pelzel.  

In the William S. Hart Union High School District, 73.21% of students met or exceeded standards in ELA and 52.94% met or exceeded standards in math. Students in the district’s special education program also outpaced the state average by nearly more than double, according to David LeBarron, the Hart District’s director of curriculum and assessment.

“They really did well this year,” he said. “We put a strong focus on our special education programs. They’re getting the same curriculum. Obviously, it’s taught differently and it’s modified, but it’s a big shining star for us.” 

In the Castaic Union School District, 61.15% of students in third grade to eighth grade met or exceeded standards in ELA and 46.17% met or exceeded standards in math. 

Third to sixth-grade students in the Saugus Union School District also performed high, posting scores of 66.34% in ELA and 56.06% 

Results for the Sulphur Springs Union School District showed that 59.85% of third to sixth graders met or exceeded standards in ELA and 49.80% met or exceeded standards in math.

CAASPP test results for all SCV districts 
William S. Hart Union High School District

English Language Arts

  • standards exceeded: 36.02
  • standards met: 37.19
  • standards nearly met: 16.78
  • standards not met: 10.02


  • standards exceeded: 28.49
  • standards met: 24.45
  • standards nearly met: 24.32
  • standards not met: 22.74

Castaic Union School District

English Language Arts

  • standards exceeded: 26.03
  • standards met: 35.12
  • standards nearly met: 22.74
  • standards not met: 16.11


  • standards exceeded: 19.70
  • standards met: 26.47
  • standards nearly met: 30.33
  • standards not met: 23.49

Sulphur Springs Union School District

English Language Arts

  • standards exceeded: 29.89
  • standards met: 29.96
  • standards nearly met: 19.59
  • standards not met: 20.56


  • standards exceeded: 25.07
  • standards met: 24.73
  • standards nearly met: 27.82
  • standards not met: 22.39

Saugus Union School District 

English Language Arts

  • standards exceeded: 34.43
  • standards met: 31.91
  • standards nearly met: 18.88
  • standards not met: 14.78


  • standards exceeded: 27.73
  • standards met: 28.33
  • standards nearly met: 26.15
  • standards not met: 17.79

Newhall School District

English Language Arts

  • standards exceeded: 41.74
  • standards met: 27.33
  • standards nearly met: 16.36
  • standards not met: 14.57


  • standards exceeded: 44.65
  • standards met: 24.01
  • standards nearly met: 18.30
  • standards not met: 13.04

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