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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Promised Academic Turn Around at School District Fails to Materialize

2018 Test Scores Ranks Emery at Bottom of East Bay School Districts, Again

Superintendent Rubio's Final Numbers
Show No Improvement

Emery at Bottom of Bottom Five East Bay Ranked Districts
2018: Emery draws second worse ranking in the entire Bay Area
 and worst in the East Bay and Alameda County.... again.
Test results from the just released California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance (CAASPP), the standard California public schools academic test, shows no improvement over last year's abysmal numbers for Emery Unified in 2018 even as most other school districts in the state and the county reported an uptick in scores.  Emery's 28% for English Language Arts and 20% Math scores leaves the struggling school district ranked at the bottom of the heap in the East Bay, the same as last year.

The discouraging results come despite numerous assurances from embattled former schools Superintendent John Rubio that 2018, his forth and final year at Emery, would be the "test scores turn around year" for his controversial tenure here.  The 2018 CAASPP test results reflect academic performance through spring 2018 and is the forth year the test has been administered to California students, having replaced the earlier pre-Common Core STAR tests.

Last year, Emery also ranked
at the bottom in the East Bay.
The test data highlights a continuing academic crisis for Emery, relegating the district again to the basement among school districts county-wide and for the entire East Bay.  Only perennially low scoring Ravenswood Unified School District, an East Palo Alto district with a high percentage of English as a Second Language students has scored lower in the Bay Area.

After a period of rising test scores before Mr Rubio was hired to take over at Emery, scores dropped precipitously for his first year.  At the time, the Superintendent and School Board members attributed the drop to the unfamiliarity over the new Common Core CAASPP test.  That assessment turned out to have had a factual basis; most districts across the state showed a drop as students and districts grappled with the new test.  However whereas most districts in the state rebounded starting in year two of the CAASPP,  Emery has continued to struggle.

Despite Emery's poor performance in 2018, Alameda County students shined overall.  County-wide,  there was an increase of approximately one percentage point in ELA and Math (met or exceeded standard) from the 2017 results.  This year in the county as a whole 56% of students met or exceeded standards in ELA versus 50% statewide.  In Math, 49% met or exceeded versus 39% statewide.  Emery at 28% and 20% respectively, brings up the rear.

Emery has languished at the bottom of the pack since the CAASPP test was first introduced and the hiring of Superintendent Rubio, both in 2015.  The results are as follows:

Percent proficient and above
at Emery Unified-
English Language Arts
2015 28%
2016 30%
2017 25%
2018 28%

2015 22%
2016 26%
2017 21%
2018 20%

With a new Superintendent hired and at least two new School Board members to be elected this November 6th, Emery Unified is poised to see a change in leadership and school culture that could positively effect academic performance moving forward.
At less than 800 students, Emery is the smallest of the 18 public school districts in Alameda County, educating approximately 200,000 students total.


  1. Oops, I did it again.

  2. To the new superintendent- Good luck. You're going to need it.

  3. Couldn't manage a gentleman's C, or even a D+....."Dr." Rubio received an F--. What a DOUCHE

  4. Thanks for this great reporting! Is there a way to find out more about the makeup of the student body at ECCL and how it's changed (or not) during this time period? Test scores are highly correlated with socioeconomic status so that info could help illuminate the situation more...

  5. Good point about test scores, Phil. On their own, they don't really tell much beyond the socio/economic status of the children's parents/guardians. What IS valuable information though is academic ranking among school districts, especially among districts of a similar student demographic. What we see with Emery is a district that has slid from sixth worse in the East Bay to the worst over Mr Rubio's term.

  6. The problem is that students in Emeryville need to start talking American. Go to full charter schools in the district!

    1. Charter schools? Why stop there? Why not make public education illegal altogether? Send kids off to the salt mines.