School Achievement Gaps Are Surmountable. San Benito High is Proof.
Achievement gaps are a persistent problem in California’s education system, but San Benito High School in Hollister appears to have a winning formula. Recently released academic data shows improvements among all students at SBHS, including the underserved migrant, special needs, and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
In a recent press release, SBHS summarized student performance in three key areas: advanced placement courses and testing, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing, and A-G courses, which are the college prepatory electives required for University of California and California State University admission.
Here were some of the findings:
Advanced Placement Success
SBHS students outperformed state and global AP passing averages for the second consecutive year. For the fifth year in a row, the number of students enrolled in AP courses increased, this time by 351 students, as did the number of students taking AP exams. What’s more, there was “no disproportionality in the percentage of white and Hispanic students enrolled in AP courses,” according to the data.
SBHS is helping to bridge socioeconomic divides in part by committing $20,000 per year to help offset the cost of AP courses. Next year, the figure will increase by $5,000.
SBAC State Testing
In the Spring of 2017-2018, SBHS students exceeded state averages in SBAC testing in math for the first time. This was true for all student categories: white, Latino, English learners, migrants, SPED, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
“SBHS migrant students continue to outperform the state migrant average by almost double digits,” according to the press release. “Socio-economically disadvantaged students at SBHS outperformed the state in both ELA (54 to 46 percent) and Math (30 percent to 20 percent)."
Data shows a 7.5% jump between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 in the number of SBHS graduates meeting a-g requirements. For five consecutive years, the school’s migrant education graduates have similarly outperformed the state in meeting those requirements.
“San Benito High School District is proud to have such a dedicated and focused faculty, support staff, administrative team, student body, parents, and Board of Trustees,” said Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum. “We have made significant academic progress in the past few years and we look forward to continued growth and much success in and out of the classroom. Our goals are lofty, but each day we are making progress as a school and as a district.”
Images courtesy of San Benito High School District