K-12 Math in California

k-12 math education in california

Nearly 11 years after Common Core Math Standards were adopted in California, the majority of K-12 students are not yet meeting grade-level standards. In fact, 60% of the students in California failed to meet the grade-level benchmarks on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in 2019. The uneven distribution of math performance is reflected in California school rankings.


2021 Public High Schools’ Ranking in California

There are 3,892 high schools in California, made up of 3,162 public schools and 730 private schools. While California ranks 1st among all states in terms of student enrollment and total number of schools, it ranks last for the student/teacher ratio. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Canyon Crest Academy is #1 Best Public High School in California, followed up Henry M. Gunn High School in #2, and Saratoga High School in #3. These rankings are based on state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, high school ratings, and more.


RankPublic High SchoolRankPublic High School
#1Canyon Crest Academy#26Riverside STEM Academy
#2Henry M. Gunn High School#27University High School
#3Saratoga High School#28Woodbridge High School
#4Palo Alto High School#29Campolindo High School
#5California Academy of Mathematics & Science#30Westview High School
#6Troy High School#31Mills High School
#7Palos Verdes Peninsula High School#32Oxford Academy
#8Torrey Pines High School#33Homestead High School
#9Orange County School of the Arts#34Los Gatos High School
#10Carmel High School#35South Pasadena Senior High School
#11University High School#36Santa Monica High School
#12Lynbrook High School#37Dougherty Valley High School
#13Whitney High School#38Burlingame High School
#14San Marino High School#39Monta Vista High School
#15Northwood High School#40Crescenta Valley High School
#16Los Altos High School#41Del Norte High School
#17Academy of the Canyons#42Arnold O. Beckman High School
#18Mountain View High School#43Granada Hills Charter
#19Amador Valley High School#44Mt. Everest Academy
#20La Canada High School#45Portola High School
#21Redwood High School#46Cupertino High School
#22Foothill High School#47Carlmont High School
#23Lowell High School#48Piedmont High School
#24Arcadia High School#49Walnut High School
#25Aragon High School#50Corona Del Mar High School


Based on the state math assessment test scores, 80% of students in Canyon Crest Academy (rank #1) are proficient in math; 62% of students in Corona Del Mar High School (rank #50) are proficient in math; 46% of students in Palisades Charter High School (rank #100) are proficient in math. It is worthwhile to note that fewer students and parents are satisfied with the teachers from schools with lower rankings. For example, 85% of students and parents agree that the teachers in Canyon Crest Academy (rank #1) give engaging lessons and 92% of them agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students, whereas 64% of students and parents agree that the teachers in Corona Del Mar High School (rank #50) give engaging lessons and 85% of them agree that the teachers genuinely care about the students.


New California Math Curriculum

In an attempt to avoid the discrepancy in math performance and to promote equality, California’s Department of Education is working on revamping the K-12 math curriculum. Under the new curriculum, accelerated math programs will be removed in middle schools. A January 2021 draft of the framework writes “middle school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.” The new math curriculum is based on the fact that “all students deserve powerful mathematics.” Currently, many students are sorted into different math tracks based on their natural abilities and talents, which leads some to take calculus by their senior year of high school while others don’t make it past basic algebra. The new plan calls for students to stay together in math. However, many people also condemn that the new framework would reject and neglect gifted students.


While the revamped K-12 math curriculum is still in draft form and will not be voted on by the State Board of Education until November 2021, specialized math programs can help students close math learning gaps and get a headstart in higher grades.


Math Project offers quality math education to increase students’ math knowledge, develop math understanding, and enhance their confidence in math and beyond. Our programs allow students to smoothly grasp any missing foundational math concepts and overcome any obstacles in their math progress. Students who are ahead of their peers are introduced to more advanced math concepts to keep their motivation levels high. Many of these students have also achieved excellent results in national and international math contests. Contact us today at 1-844-628-4243 to book a free assessment! For more information on our online math tutoring in California, check out Our Programs.

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California math curriculum spurs new controversy about accelerated learning – https://edsource.org/
Students Meeting or Exceeding Grade-Level Standard in Mathematics (CAASPP), by Grade Level – https://www.kidsdata.org/
California High Schools – https://high-schools.com/directory/ca/
2021 Best Public High Schools in California – https://www.niche.com/
In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math – https://reason.com/
California’s newly proposed math framework seeks equity as part of the equation – https://abc7news.com/

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