This report ranks 287 California school districts, which have 100+ socio-economically-disadvantaged/Hispanic/LatinX 3rd graders, on their “effectiveness in teaching reading by 3rd grade.” The authors found that “it is not the students themselves, or the level of resources, that drive student reading achievement - the primary drivers are district focus on reading, management practices, and curriculum and instruction choices.” One surprising finding is that “none of the top performing districts are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area contains nearly half of the lowest performing districts, including large districts like San Francisco Unified, Oakland Unified, and West Contra Costa County Unified. By contrast, Southern California has 80% of the high performing districts, led by Los Angeles County, where over half of all ranked districts are in the top 20% statewide. Fresno County is also a standout, with 4 of the top 30 districts (including 2 of the top 5), while making up only 1% of all ranked districts.”
The First Annual California Reading Report Card. California Reading Coalition. Sept. 2021.