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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Just the Facts . . . in Context

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Rebecca McFerren King

At the Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees candidates forum held on September 17, three candidates suggested that our schools need to “protect core academic time” and at least one alluded to Coronado High School’s ranking 15th in the San Diego metro area, as if this were a sign of the decline of public education in Coronado. What these candidates did NOT provide is context:

  1. Coronado High School was ranked #15 in US News & World Report’s 2022 rankings of traditional (non-charter/non-magnet) public high schools, which utilized scores from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Programs (CAASPP) tests administered in 2020-21 during the height of the Covid pandemic.
  2. At least two of the public high schools ranked above Coronado—Torrey Pines and La Jolla High (ranked #10 and #11, respectively)—apparently did not administer the CAASPP test to their students. A search on the CAASPP website for the most recent test results of 11th graders from Torrey Pines High and La Jolla High shows that there are none.  There is an asterisk and “N/A” where their test results should be, which according to the CAASPP website means that “10 or fewer students had tested.” Perhaps the districts in which these two high schools reside decided to not test their students in order to protect their rankings.
  3. Meanwhile, CUSD did administer the tests to its 11th graders. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of our 11th graders met or exceeded the grade level standard in English Language Arts/Literacy, while sixty-six percent (66%) of our 11th graders met or exceeded the grade level standard in Mathematics. Statewide the percentage of 11th graders who met or exceeded the grade level standard for English was only 60%, and 36% for math.

I am grateful that Coronado Unified administered the CAASPP tests, providing transparency to parents as to the effect the pandemic has had on students’ learning. While the testing shows an expected decline in scores because of Covid-necessitated distance learning, it also provides our district teachers and administrators a baseline to utilize going forward, showing where our students need help catching up and trends in the scores going forward.

Rebecca McFerren King
Parent of a Current CUSD Student



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]