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Record Number of High School Juniors Take College-Ready
Assessment Test

English Proficiency Increases by Five Percentage Points

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(August 30, 2010) – For the fifth year in a row, a record number of California 11th graders took the California State University's voluntary Early Assessment Program (EAP) test, with this year's results highlighted by a marked increase in those proficient in English. Results showed a five percentage point increase – the first significant increase in the five years of testing – in the number of 11th grade students who demonstrated that they are on track to be college ready in English upon graduation from high school. A total of 378,870 students completed the EAP in English. In mathematics, 57 percent of the 178,667 who took the test demonstrated full or conditional college readiness.

"More and more high school students continue to show an increased interest in preparing academically to be ready for credit-bearing English and mathematics courses when they enter the CSU," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "The continued growth in participation and increased preparation also reflect that California's teachers are preparing more students to achieve success at the university level."

Created in 2006, the EAP is a collaborative effort between the CSU, California Department of Education, and the California State Board of Education. The goal is to ensure that the state's college-bound high school seniors are college ready and have mastered the content skills in English and mathematics taught by California's K-12 teachers. Administered as a voluntary assessment of college readiness as part of the California Standards Test (CST), EAP tests help high school students determine if they are on track for college level math and English. By receiving results prior to their final year of high school, students can make better use of their senior year to prepare them for college. English testing is optional for 11th graders and math testing is optional for those students who are enrolled in Algebra II.

"The EAP has proved to be an important part of our Academic and Career Success Initiative in our high schools, where we're striving to increase college readiness," said Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools for the Long Beach Unified School District. "In fact, we're seeing a significant increase in the number of our graduates who are prepared for college-level work based upon EAP results."

The number of Long Beach Unified high school students earning exemption from remedial math upon college entrance has grown to 1,345 this year, up nearly 59 percent since 2004. In English, the number has grown to 1,080 during the same period, an increase of more than 69 percent.

"These are encouraging increases in college readiness that we could not have tracked without the EAP, which continues to be a key measurement tool for our school district," Steinhauser said.

In addition to all-time highs in participation and proficiency rates among high school students, 2010 marked the first time students were also able to authorize the release of their EAP results to California Community Colleges for use in placement.

Approximately 60 percent of the first-time freshmen enrolling at the CSU each year do not demonstrate proficiency in the areas of math and/or English. EAP testing is one of the tools utilized in the CSU's continuing efforts to better prepare high school students for college. Earlier this year, the CSU implemented an "Early Start" policy to help students to become proficient in math and English before moving on to college. The EAP, along with other placement assessments such as the SAT, ACT, and CSU’s placement tests, will be used to identify students entering CSU as freshmen who will need to begin their remediation by enrolling in early start English and math classes in the summer after high school.

EAP results for English
The 2010 EAP results indicate that 84 percent of students (378,870) eligible to participate in the EAP in English voluntarily completed the additional EAP questions and written essay, an increase of 11,921 over 2009, corresponding to a two percentage point increase in the participation rate. Of those, 77,826 students (21 percent) demonstrated college readiness, an increase of 18,475 students – a five percentage point increase over 2009. That figure marks the highest rate of increase in a single year since the implementation of the EAP program.

EAP results for mathematics
A total of 178,667 of the students eligible to participate in the EAP in Mathematics (77 percent) completed the additional questions in mathematics, an increase of 9,194 over 2009, with the participation rate holding steady. Fifty-seven percent of those tested demonstrated that they were fully ready for college level mathematics (15 percent - 26,056) or conditional college ready (42 percent - 75,502). To place directly into an entry-level, credit-bearing mathematics course as an entering first-time freshman at the CSU, students who score conditionally college ready must take a mathematics course in 12th grade that requires at least Algebra II as a prerequisite. The CSU encourages all high school seniors to complete a fourth year of math to keep their skills current.

Students who wish to review 2010 EAP results may visit: http://eap2010.ets.org. For more information about the CSU's EAP testing or to review archived results please visit: http://www.calstate.edu/eap/index.shtml.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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