For nine of the last 10 years, scores on California’s standardized tests steadily rose, indicating the testing system did what it was supposed to do and raised student achievement. That streak ended and exposed an ongoing achievement gap with Thursday’s release of the 2013 Academic Performance Index, or API.
Galvanized by a national reading campaign, communities across California are launching innovative partnerships that are resulting in new early literacy programs in schools, libraries and even laundromats.
“There’s a lot of books here, really good books,” said 9-year-old Melanie Garcia-Macia, who sat with her back to a big red bookshelf at the end of a long line of washing machines at the Clean Express Coin Laundry in Richmond one recent Wednesday. A copy of “The Night Before Christmas” was splayed open on her lap.