Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SFUSD API Nears the Top

Almost Half of All Schools Reach or Exceed 800 Mark

Yesterday, the district released the following in a press release:

The district met its Academic Performance Index (API) targets and improved by five API points to reach a district-wide API of 777, a score that exceeds all other large urban districts in California. This year approximately half of all schools (46%) have an API score of 800 or above, up from 40 percent (40%) in 2008.

Over two-thirds of the schools (68% or 71/104 schools) met their school-wide API targets, which is ten more schools than last year. The greatest success was seen at the elementary school level where 77 percent (or 54/70) of the elementary schools met their school-wide API targets.

“We are moving in the right direction. More and more schools are meeting their academic improvement targets and almost half of our schools are at the state standard for academic excellence,” said Superintendent Carlos Garcia.

When analyzing the data for groups targeted for improvement, the district saw positive results for English Learners; two- thirds of the schools that had a statistically significant group met their API and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets.
Over half of all schools (53% or 55/104) met their school-wide and subgroup API targets.

Over half (52%) of the schools met their AYP criteria, which included meeting the increased AYP target proficiency rates in both English Language Arts and Math.

“This is a great success as the federal target for proficiency increased by over 10 percent from 2008,” said Ritu Khanna, Executive Director of Research, Planning and Accountability for SFUSD.

The highest rates of improvement were seen at schools with district intervention and support programs, all STAR schools, which means they receive additional funding for instructional coaches and student support services. Malcolm X Elementary showed the most growth with a gain of 99 API points. The top two improvements in the API at the middle school level were Everett and Horace Mann.

African-American, Latino, Pacific Islander, and Special Education students made notable progress but did not meet the increased proficiency rates set for this year in both content areas. The bar is reset higher every year under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the district did not meet AYP (36/46 criteria were met) which means it continues to be in Program Improvement 3. Further, English Language Learners did not meet the criteria for English Language Arts and American Indian students did not meet the criteria for Math.

Both the API and AYP are based on statewide assessment results, which were released earlier this month. These assessments include the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program and California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE).

AYP encompasses four areas: participation rate, the percent proficient (also referred to as Annual Measurable Objectives), the school’s API as an additional indicator for AYP, and graduation rate. Each of these four areas includes specific requirements. Participation rate and percent proficient criteria must be met in both English-language arts (ELA)
and in Mathematics.

In AYP, the federal government measures what percentage of students are scoring at proficient and above; and the percentage required goes up each year by about 10 percent.

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