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.


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



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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