Students in San Carlos made significant gains in their Spring 2012 STAR test scores, according to Academic Performance Index scores released from the California Department of Education.
Each of the six schools in the San Carlos School District met annual yearly progress goals and increased the API by 12 points from a 2011 base API of 903 to a 2012 growth API of 915. The highest number of the numeric index is 1,000.
San Carlos School District Superintendent Dr. Craig Baker said that while he is pleased to see the good results, the district maintains its focus on further success through everyday learning.
“We are more focused on what else we can do to make sure all kids are making adequate progress, as opposed to lingering in the sweet air of having received good scores,” Baker said. “We are clearly pleased to see these results, but we prefer not to wallow in that, as there are so many children who need our focus, good scores notwithstanding.”
The API is a numeric index that ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000. Student group and school targets are set at 5 percent of the difference between the school or group’s base API score and 800, the statewide target. All student groups must meet their growth targets in order for a school to meet its overall API growth target.
Baker said that he believes the STAR testing system is a bit limited in its capacity to understand what our children can do and whether they will be successful in high school and in life. He is critical of the test, saying, “We look forward to the day that we have tests that can help us assess children's success in all the ways that matter, not just academic achievement on a very narrow test.”
He hopes to see a testing method created that gauges common core standards better aligned to the skills our children need.
“Our hope is that there will be a greater push by the state and the community to insist on multiple measures that can truly and significantly enhance our understanding of our children's learning progress,” Baker said.
On a statewide level, a majority of the schools in the state met or surpassed statewide targets, according to state Superintendent Tom Torlakson, with 53 percent of schools scoring at or above the state target of 800. This marks an increase of 4 percentage points over last year.
News of the higher scores marks a bright spot in state education, according to the state superintendent.
"We've set a high bar for schools and they have more than met the challenge, despite the enormous obstacles that years of budget cuts have put in their way," Torlakson said. "The incredible efforts of teachers, administrators, school employees, parents, and students should serve as an inspiration to us all. While there's still more work to do, California's schools have earned a vote of confidence."
According to data released from the California Department of Education, the school level results reflect the continued improvement of students statewide. The overall API score went up 10 points for 2012, bringing the all-student score to 788.
To see a snapshot of each San Carlos school’s growth, clink on the link below:
Central Middle School: