Students in Los Angeles County continued improving their scores on standardized tests, with higher percentages scoring advanced or proficient in math and English, according to results released Friday by the state Department of Education.
The improvement in scores on the 2012 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program mirrored increases seen across the state, according to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
"In less than a decade, California has gone from having only one student in three score proficient to better than one student in two," Torlakson said. "That's nearly 900,000 more students reaching proficiency now than in 2003 -- a remarkable achievement that represents real, sustained improvements in learning."
More than 1.1 million students in Los Angeles County were tested, with 54.4 percent scoring advanced or proficient in English-language arts and 49.4 percent in mathematics, according to figures released by the state. Last year, 51 percent of county students scored advanced or proficient in English and 47.9 percent achieved those levels in math.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 47.9 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English-language arts, up from 43.9 percent last year. In math, 44.6 percent scored advanced or proficient, an increase from 42.9 percent last year.
"The test scores show that we're making steady progress throughout the district," LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said. He credited this year's results to several factors -- dedicated teachers, involved parents and supportive administrators.
"We expect the upward trend to continue this school year, as we raise the bar even higher, adding more rigor while making our graduates college- prepared and career-ready," he said.
The LAUSD and Los Angeles County numbers all lag behind the statewide average, which shows 57.2 percent scoring advanced or proficient in English and 51.5 percent in math.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said students who attend campuses overseen by his Partnership for Los Angeles Schools also saw gains in scores.
"We saw improvements in all core subjects, and substantial gains at most of the schools, though a few schools still have a ways to go," the mayor said. "I am so proud of our Partnership teachers, principals and students. These scores are a direct result of the passion and tremendous work ethic they bring to our schools. It is clear the Partnership is poised for continued success."
In Orange County, 65.6 percent of students scored advanced or proficient in English, and 61.7 in math.
About 4.7 million students took part in the 2012 STAR program, which includes California Standards Tests, California Modified Assessment, California Alternate Performance Assessment and Standards-based Tests in Spanish for Spanish-speaking and English-learner students.