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Fresno Students Raise Test Scores. But They Haven't Caught up From Pandemic Losses.
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 7 months ago on
September 7, 2023

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For Fresno Unified, the recent release of preliminary standardized test scores from last spring is kind of a good news-bad news story.

The data comes from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.

Want to check out earlier School Zone columns and other education news stories? You’ll find them at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

Good news: The percentage of students who met or exceeded standards in English languages arts crept up 1 percentage point compared to last year. The youngsters did even better on their math tests — they boosted their scores by 2.5 percentage points compared to last year.

Bad news: Only 33.2% of students met or exceeded standards on the English language tests, and only 23.3% met or exceeded standards in math. This means that if you have a room full of 32 fourth graders, about 11 of them will be at or above grade level in reading and about eight of them will be at or above grade level in math. Which leaves a whole lot of kids not making the grade — but all 32 will be promoted to the fifth grade.

Good news: Students who were formerly classified as English learners but are now reclassified as English proficient had some of the best scores in the district. Of the 6,000 RFEP (Reclassified Fluent English Proficient, and somebody needs to work on these acronyms) students tested, a whopping 55.4% met or exceeded standards in English, and 32.4% met or exceeded standards in math. Only the district’s 78 Filipino students bested them in both categories.

Bad news: The 6,700 students who were still classified as English learners struggled with both tests. Only 9.3% met or exceeded standards on the English and math tests. Only 8.1% of students with disabilities (4,400 of them) met or exceeded standards in English, and only 7.3% met or exceeded standards in math.

Although the state of California warns against comparing pre-COVID to post-COVID test scores, Fresno Unified isn’t shrinking from the harsh truth. The district reported that students tested in English and math are behind their counterparts on the 2019 test in English and math in nearly every student grouping. The exception? This year the reclassified English proficient students and Filipino students outperformed their 2019 counterparts on the English test.


Also in School Zone: 

  • A new high school’s name follows tradition.
  • Got college questions? Find answers at the Fresno Area College Night event.
  • Youth Voices documentaries will be screened on Saturday.

Clovis Unified Running Out of Compass Points?

In a surprise to probably absolutely no one, Clovis Unified is sticking with its traditional high school naming formula for the high school to be built on the Terry Bradley Educational Center. The center’s location is in what is now unincorporated Fresno County but lies within the city of Fresno’s sphere of influence.

Drum roll, please – the district’s sixth comprehensive high school will be named Clovis South. It will be the district’s third high school with a Fresno mailing address, joining Clovis West and Clovis North.

(Fresno South? Nah, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.)

Clovis Unified covers the city of Clovis, much of north Fresno, and a chunk of land that will become southeast Fresno.

Only one of the district’s high schools doesn’t bear a compass point name, and that’s Buchanan High School, named for the district’s beloved founding superintendent, Dr. Floyd “Doc” Buchanan, whose aphorisms are still quoted today.

The naming of Clovis South was on the agenda of Wednesday’s trustee meeting as an information item, which usually means it will come up for a vote at the next board meeting later this month.

Fresno Area College Night Set for Convention Center

Are you a student considering a college, or a parent who wants to learn more about college admissions and costs? You’ll find answers at the 2023 Fresno Area College Night on Wednesday, Sept. 13

More than 3,000 students and parents from Fresno and Madera County high schools are expected to attend College Night, which will be hosted by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A pre-event financial aid session will start at 5:30 p.m.

Colleges and universities from around the nation will be on hand to showcase their academic programs and provide students with contact and admission information.

There will be breakout sessions running simultaneously on college-related topics. These include admissions, planning for college, Historic Black Colleges and Universities, scholarships, and financial aid.

State Center Community College District, Valley Children’s Healthcare, and Fresno State are sponsors.

Lights, Camera … Students!

The fourth annual screening of the Youth Voices documentaries will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Maya Cinemas. The work of the junior high and high school filmmakers was guided by Alex Soto, media arts education specialist at the Community Media Access Collaborative, and teacher artist Sergio Cortes.

Starting in June, the students learned about media literacy, idea generation, script writing, field production, audio production, editing, and post-production, and then produced their own documentary films. Their work focused on issues relevant to the Central Valley with topics that included immigration, bullying, teens and vaping, and redlining.

Twelve students will present their documentaries Saturday in a film screening that’s free and open to all ages. There will be a Q&A with the filmmakers following the screening.

Free tickets can be claimed through Eventbrite here.

CMAC Youth Voices is funded by the California Endowment, California Arts Council, and California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The Youth Voices program continues to serve as an important opportunity for Central Valley youth to tell stories that matter to them,” said Project Manager Johnny Pecina in a news release.

“The screening will be a culmination of all the hard work and dedication the participating youth put in to produce, record, and edit the films during a 10-week period. This is an accomplishment that they should all be proud of, and we are excited to provide an opportunity for the public to see these documentaries.”

Maya Cinemas is at 3090 E. Campus Pointe Drive in Fresno next to the Fresno State campus.

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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