Statistics by John Husing Ph.D
Murrieta’s young people attend the Murrieta Valley Unified School District . In academic year 2005-2006, this district was Riverside County ’s tenth largest with 20,164 pupils, up by 723 or 3.7% from the prior year. Like the city, Murrieta’s school population is somewhat diversified. Whites represent 54% of students, the largest share in Riverside County . Hispanics make-up 22%, the county’s lowest. Meanwhile, 6% of the district’s students were African-American, mid-level for Riverside County . Asian students made up 9%, a high average for the county’s districts. Murrieta’s student body is far less diverse than that of California , where 48% are Hispanic, 30% are White, 11% are Asian, and 8% are African American.
Murrieta’s Class of 2005 had a completion rate of 35.2% for courses required to enter the University of California and California State University systems (2004: 36.4%). This ranked fourth among Riverside County ’s large districts after Corona-Norco (75.4%), Riverside (37.0%) and Hemet (35.7%). The level was higher than Riverside County (34.5%), equal to California ’s average (35.2%) and below San Diego County (37.2%). Meanwhile, in 2005, 39.7% of Murrieta’s seniors took the Scholastic Assessment Test, third to Riverside (45.1%) and Murrieta (40.2%). Their average score of 1,009 was the county’s third highest. It was below California (1,020) and San Diego County (1,038) averages but well above Riverside County (965).
Looking at educational measurement, Murrieta’s students test in the upper tier of Riverside County ’s students. On the Academic Performance Index used to measure overall school performance, Murrieta’s schools have improved in every year from 1999-2005. In 2005, their scores were well above state averages at the elementary (843 vs. 738), middle (814 vs. 703) and high school (761 vs. 671) levels. The Standardized Testing and Reporting Program tests 3rd and 7th graders on reading, math, language and spelling. It compares them to national averages. For 3rd graders, the share of Murrieta’s students above the national average< threshold (50%) ranked 2nd on all four test compared to Riverside County major districts. They far outperformed national, state, Riverside and San Diego county averages on each. For 7th graders, Murrieta’s students tied for 1st in reading and ranked 2nd in math, language and spelling compared to Riverside County major districts. Again, the district’s students exceeded national, state, Riverside and San Diego county averages.
Murrieta is near a large array of private and public colleges and universities. There are 22 campuses and a combined enrollment of 149,443. They include nationally known private, liberal arts schools like the Claremont Colleges and the University of Redlands . Impressive scientific work is conducted at Harvey Mudd College , Cal Poly Pomona , and the University of California , Riverside . Loma Linda University boasts one of the world’s top medical schools. The ABA accredited University of La Verne School of Law is in Ontario . Cal State San Marcos in nearby San Diego County . There are five community colleges in the area including Mt. San Jacinto Community College. UCR, Cal State San Marcos, Mt. San Jacinto Community College and Concordia University will soon offer classes nearby.