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Palo Alto Schools Lose Ground on State Performance Test

See 2013 Growth API for all Palo Alto Schools.

Ohlone Elementary. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps.
Ohlone Elementary. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps.
The Palo Alto School Unified District received a mix bag of results this Thursday with the release of the statewide performance tests by state school chief Tom Torlakson.

The Palo Alto School Unified District dropped one point to 932 in 2013 compared to 2012. Ten schools lost points from one year to another, with Duveneck Elementary falling 18 points.

However, Ohlone Elementary rose to the occasion with 26 points.

The API is a score ranging from 200 to 1,000 that measures how well students do on a variety of tests, including the California Standards Test and the state’s high school exit exam. The state has set 800 as the API target for all schools to meet. Here’s a detailed summary of the API from the California Department of Education.

Statewide, the number of California schools meeting the state target for student performance on standardized tests dropped by 2 percent.

In 2013, 51 percent of the state’s schools earned an Academic Performance Index score of 800 or above, compared to 53 percent the previous year.

Based on 2013 test scores, 56 percent of elementary schools, 50 percent of middle schools, and 31 percent of high schools are now at or above the 800 mark.

In the last decade, the number of schools meeting the target of an 800 API has increased by 30 percent.

The state’s overall API dropped two points to 789 from 791, but Torlakson was quick to note that the statewide API for poor students and students learning English increased five points and one point, respectively. 

What are your thoughts Mountain View? What could the district do to improve the scores for 2014?
Carol Winitsky August 30, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I have a difficult time reading article on education when the writer appears not to know the difference between a "unified" district (serves grades K through 12) and a " union" district, which is typically a high school district serving several different cities (e.g., Sequoia).
Claudia Cruz August 30, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Hi Carol, I do apologize for the typographical error. As a NYer with one city-wide school district I never realized their was a difference between unified and union. However, that doesn't excuse the incorrect word usage.
Conservative Liberal September 01, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Glad to can woman up Claudia when you're wrong. That said, API scores alone are not good gauges of how substantively a child is learning & more importantly, retaining. I'd like up see schools teach some manners and common sense, to both students and their parents! Just saying!

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