The Department of Education provides this awesome chart plotting the English and math proficiency rates of every school—not just school district, but school building—that had students take the statewide “Smarter Balanced” standardized tests. The size of each dot represents the number of students tested.
The scores clearly cluster along a diagonal showing that good scores on the English test correlate with good scores on the math test. However, run a diagonal from (0,0) to (100,100) and you’ll see that most of the dots fall up and left from that diagonal. That shows that students are generally scoring better on the English test than on the math test.
Aberdeen Central High School provides one seemingly drastic example: 72% of Central’s juniors in 2015–2016 scored proficient in English but only 33% scored proficient in math. (Juniors! SOHCAHTOA!) Supreintendent Becky Guffin explains away that gap as lag time in teaching catching up with the tests:
Guffin said the low scores are because it takes longer for the new standards to catch up with older students. Younger kids have been using the standards adopted in 2010 their whole school careers, while older students lived through the switch of standards.
“The high school has the most difficult time catching up with that,” Guffin said. “There may be more gaps with that because of the instruction they received previously because the standards were different at that particular grade level” [Katherine Grandstrand, “School Districts—Not Just Students—Get Report Cards,” Aberdeen American News, 2017.06.10].
You can mouse over the outliers in that upper-left area and find more high schools and middle schools than elementary schools, with noteworthy exceptions like Todd County’s Klein Elementary (English proficiency 75%, math 17%) and the Montrose Colony Elementary (English 55%, math 9%).
Interestingly, the lower rates of high school student proficiency in passing tests based on standards toward which their learning was not geared in their elementary days appears not to correlate into a lack of college readiness:
According to this chart, based on scores on the ACT an Accuplacer tests, the distribution of schools in percentage of students ready for college skews notably higher on both English and math than proficiency on the state tests. Aberdeen Central’s college readiness rates in 2015–2016 were 79% in English and 66% in math. That’s still a fifth of test takers not ready for college English and a third not ready for college math.