Local schools so close to target

By Jeannie Lopez

Last week State Superintendent Jack O'Connel released the 2004 API (Academic Performance Index) base results. The API is a numeric index or scale ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000. These scales reflect a school's or LEA's (Local Education Agencies) performance level based on the results of the statewide testing.

"The API is a powerful tool for holding our schools publicly accountable for student achievement and sets measurable goals for improvement each year," said O'Connell. "Even when faced with budget limitations, California school administrators, teachers and students should set their sights high and stay focused on achieving at higher levels," he said.

Schools not only received their API results but they also received their growth targets, state comparison and similar status results for the '05 school year.Growth targets indicate what the school will have to score this year to meet state performance goals.

State comparisons show how the schools scored compared with other statewide ranks on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. Similar status shows how the schools scores compared to other schools with similar social and economic characteristics on the same scale of 1 to 10.

It's important to point out that there will always be schools ranked 1 and schools ranked 10 because of the nature of the decile system, 10% of schools will always be in each decile.

Schools not meeting their target growth in two year in a row are considered "Program Improvement" by the State Department of Education.

The Title I Program for improvement districts was established to focus on the increasing achievement levels of all students. If the school target growth does not improve, then the State Board of Education will take steps to improve district operations.

Now, school district boards can only wait for the results of students assessments that are part of the STAR (Standardized Testing Annual Reporting) program and from the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam). The results of all students tests will ultimately result where schools will stand bye Program Improvement.

Once all student tests are taken and finalized then the results of the API will be released school districts.

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