The Educated Guess: School and District Accountability Data on Ed-Data

By Smita Patel

The Ed-Data website has just been updated with 2011-12 accountability data.

For the first time, a majority of California schools (53%) reached the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) goal of 800 this year. But the number of schools making AYP, the federal measure of K-12 academic progress, continues to decline mainly due to steep annual increases in targets under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

via School and District Accountability Data on Ed-Data – by Smita Patel.

SacBee — Editorial: Why is teachers union leaving money on the table?

At a time when California has cut funding dramatically for K-12 education – and may have to cut more after next week’s election – it makes no sense for school districts to leave millions in federal education dollars on the table.

Yet California school districts have had to struggle to win teachers union support for a new round of Race to the Top competitive grants specifically for school districts – as much as $40 million per district, depending upon size.

This competition – for districts seeking to improve academic performance with personalized learning for students – is well worth pursuing in these tough financial times.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/30/4947410/editorial-why-is-teachers-union.html#mi_rss=Editorials#storylink=cpy

via Editorial: Why is teachers union leaving money on the table?.

Daily Republic: FSUSD School board praises educators for test scores

FAIRFIELD — In a span where the district cut $41 million, most local schools have steadily improved test scores since being placed in Program Improvement in 2007.

Many of those successes were celebrated Thursday as members of the Fairfield-Suisun School District Board of Trustees were informed of the results from 2011-12 year. The board also got an update on what is being done at some of the sites that still haven’t shown improvement.

Named the Local Educational Agency Plan, the district is required to periodically report results as part of the program improvement guidelines set by the California Department of Education. Thursday’s meeting featured the 2011-12 end-of-year report.

via School board praises educators for test scores.

Daily Republic: Fairfield-Suisun school board to review academic progress

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun School District is showing progress while working its way out of program improvement status, according to a report that will be presented Thursday to the governing board.

Named the Local Educational Agency Plan, the district is required to periodically report results as part of the program improvement guidelines set by the California Department of Education. Thursday’s meeting will feature the 2011-12 end-of-year report.

Included are details of what strategies were taken to improve scores. With that are results of how students in all grades have fared over the past four years, based on performance in English, math and overall Academic Performance Index scores.

via Fairfield-Suisun school board to review academic progress.

The Reporter: Vacaville Unified School District trustees to get update on API scores

y Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com

An update on Academic Performance Index scores tops the staff reports when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight.

Widely regarded as a “report card on schools,” the results were announced Oct. 11 at the state Department of Education in Sacramento. API is a numeric index that ranges from 200 to 1,000. It combines annual Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) results with those from the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE).

Mark Frazier, the district’s chief academic officer, will deliver the report to the seven-member board, detailing an overall picture of the scores, then breaking them down by schools and subgroups.

In 2012, growth districtwide was up 10 points, from 776 to 786, with scores from some 9,200 students taken into account.

via Vacaville Unified School District trustees to get update on API scores.

Dixon Tribune’s Facebook Wall: State progress report has mixed results for Dixon Unified

Brianna Boyd
Editor

There were likely some mixed emotions in Dixon Unified last week with the release of the state’s 2011-12 Accountability Progress Report, which measures student achievement and growth.

While there has certainly been some growth in the district over the last year – both Tremont Elementary School and CA Jacobs Middle School exceeded the state target of 800 on the Academic Performance Index (API) – it is clear there are areas the district needs to work on to improve. Only Tremont and CA Jacobs met all growth targets on the API, and while most of the schools in the district saw some gains in the numeric index, two schools, Anderson Elementary and Maine Prairie High School, experienced significant drops in scores.

via State progress report has mixed results for Dixon Unified

Suisun City Patch: Solano Schools and FSUSD See Increase in Student Achievement

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa

Solano County schools received some good news with the recentg release of the California Department of Education’s (CDE)  2011-12 Accountability Progress Report (APR). Solano schools have increased student achievement compared to the 2010-11 school year. Kris Corey, assistant superintendent of Educational Services at the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District said officials are very pleased with the results.

“Our entire district went up 13 points which our entire district thought we had the most growth of any school district in the county,” she said. “Our teachers are receiving and attending a great deal of professional development and training and coaching. They’ve implement formative assessments and utilized this information to instruct and to re-teach and to enrich. Everyone is working hard and working toward that common vision of universal achievements and we’re just really excited.”

via Solano Schools See Increase in Student Achievement.

SCOE’s Facebook Wall: Solano County school districts post an 11 point median gain in Academic Performance Index

67% percent of Solano County schools improve their APIs

FAIRFIELD – Solano County schools received some good news with the release of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) 2011-12 Accountability Progress Report (APR) today. More Solano schools have increased student achievement compared to the 2010-11 school year.

Read more here: http://www.solanocoe.net/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=272233&id=0

via Solano County school districts post an 11 point median gain
in Academic Perform…
.

Vallejo Times-Herald: Vallejo schools test results show some academic growth

By Lanz Christian Bañes

Nearly three-quarters of Vallejo public goals showed some academic improvement in the last year, according to results released Thursday by the state Department of Education.

However, just 10 of the 22 Vallejo City Unified School District schools for which Academic Performance Index Scores are available met their academic growth goals.

This is a mild improvement from the 2010-2011 school year in which nine schools achieved their targets out of the 25 schools that had scores available.

via Vallejo schools test results show some academic growth.

EdSource Today: California test results on the up and up – partly

California’s public schools continued to show gains on the Academic Performance Index (API), a measure of how well students do on the California Standards Tests and, in high school, on the exit exam. For the first time since the testing program began in 1999, a majority of schools reached or exceeded the state’s target of 800 on the index.

Results of the spring 2012 exams, released yesterday by the State Department of Education, showed that 53 percent of schools met the mark, 4 percentage points above last year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said the growth is especially noteworthy given the years of budget cuts that schools have endured. “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,” said Torlakson in a written statement accompanying the announcement.

via California test results on the up and up – partly – by Kathy Baron and John Fensterwald.

EdSource Today: Overusing test for special ed students inflates API scores

By Doug McRae

California’s 2012 Academic Performance Index (API) results, released Thursday, in general show small but steady gains similar to the last four years. But a deeper look at the results shows not only inflation contributing to the gains but also a substantial policy shift toward lower expectations for special education students in California.

The API trend data inflation is due to the introduction of a new test for special education students over the past five years: the California Modified Assessments, or CMAs. These tests were introduced to give selected students greater “access” to the statewide testing system, by making tests easier than the regular California Standards Tests (CSTs) given to all other students. When the CMAs were approved in 2007, the plan was that roughly 2 percent of total enrollment (or about 20 percent of special education enrollment) would qualify to take CMAs instead of CSTs. A major criterion for taking a CMA rather than a CST was that a special education student had to score Far Below Basic or Below Basic on a CST the previous year; the decision whether a student should take a CMA or a CST was left to each student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team.

via Overusing test for special ed students inflates API scores – by Doug McRae.

The Reporter: Vacaville area schools hit state achievement target scores, mirroring statewide trend

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville-area public school districts surpassed their targets for academic achievement on the 2012 Academic Performance Index (API), reflecting a statewide trend that marks a decade of steady growth.

Widely regarded as a “report card on schools,” the results were announced at 10 a.m. today, when State Superintendent Tom Torlakson held a press conference to release the data to the public.

He said that, for the first time, a majority of California’s public schools – 53 percent, an increase of four points – scored at or above the state target of 800. Ten years ago, only 20 percent of schools met or surpassed the API target.

via Vacaville area schools hit state achievement target scores,….

Daily Republic: Solano schools improve on API testing

FAIRFIELD — More than two-thirds of the Solano County schools improved their Academic Performance Index scores and the county improved by an overall average of 11 points.

Statewide numbers were released Thursday by the California Department of Education in the Academic Progress Report. API runs from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000. In California, schools are expected to improve each year until reaching the target of 800.

Schools at or above a score of 800 are expected to maintain their scores above 800.

via Solano schools improve on API testing.

CA Dept of Education: API Growth Report Released for 2012

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced today that for the first time a majority of California’s public schools met or surpassed the statewide target for academic achievement on the 2012 Academic Performance Index (API).

Some 53 percent of schools scored at or above the state target of 800, an increase of 4 percentage points over last year, marking a decade of steady growth. Ten years ago, only 20 percent of schools met or surpassed the API target.

via API Growth Report Released for 2012.

EdSource Today: Brown signs bill moving API away from standardized tests

By John Fensterwald

Senate Bill 1458, which will shift California’s chief measure of a high school’s performance, from a near exclusive reliance on state test scores to a broader gauge of student accomplishment and preparation for college and the world of work, is now law.

After Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill Wednesday, its sponsor, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, predicted in a press release that the bill “will prove to be one of the most significant education reform bills of the decade.”

Starting in 2016, test results of the California Standards Tests will comprise no more than 60 percent of a high school’s Academic Performance Index, or API, the three-digit score that, next to a school’s mascot, has become its identity. Less prescriptive than last year’s version of the bill, which Brown vetoed with a caustic message, SB 1458 doesn’t dictate what the other elements comprising the 40 percent (or more) will be; the bill leaves that up to the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to determine. But it does makes clear that those measures should reflect success in preparing students for higher education and the workplace. Steinberg has said these elements might include high school and middle school graduation and dropout rates, or factors such as the proportion of students who pass Advanced Placement exams, are eligible for a four-year state university (complete the A-G course requirements), graduate without need for college remediation in English and math, or have completed a Partnership Academy program in a career pathway and qualified for college credit in that area.

via Brown signs bill moving API away from standardized tests – by John Fensterwald.

Daily Republic: Nelda Mundy celebrates high test scores

FAIRFIELD — The clinks and clanks of swinging medals were easily heard Wednesday even with a packed multipurpose room filled with of hyped-up children and parents at Nelda Mundy Elementary School.

“I’ve got to tell you, that sound is not annoying,” Principal Kristen Cherry said from the podium. “It’s awesome.”

Cherry was in the middle of awarding hundreds of medals to the children, rewarding the group for their work on the California Standardized Testing and Reporting results released earlier this month. That score was a 943 and upcoming scores are likely to be even higher.

She said the state has yet to make the scores official from the last round of testing. Still, Cherry said the school will come out between 950 and 955. That would place it first in the district, the county and the state when compared to similar schools, she said.

via Nelda Mundy celebrates high test scores.

Daily Republic>Scripps Howard News Service: SATs show declining level of college readiness

The high school class of 2012 has taken its College Board exams and the results are not good, showing the nation still hasn’t cracked the code of how to deliver a quality secondary education to large numbers of students from diverse backgrounds.

The results are dismaying because they come after a decade of No Child Left Behind. If that law forces teachers, as critics allege, to “teach to the test,” it is not this test they are teaching to.

The test is divided into three parts, critical reading, writing and math. A perfect score on each section is 800 — 2,400 if the student aces all three.

via SATs show declining level of college readiness.

CA Dept of Education: SAT Results for 2012

SACRAMENTO—SAT® results released today by The College Board show that for the first time, Latino students in California public* schools represented a larger percentage of SAT test-takers than any other ethnic group.

Reflecting the state’s growing diversity, nearly 70 percent of California’s public school test-takers in the Class of 2012 were minority students, and of those, 36 percent—or 69,832 students—were Latino. This compares to 29 percent—or 56,590 test-takers—who were white; 22 percent—or 42,121 test-takers—who were Asian; and 7 percent—or 13,101 test-takers—who were African American.

via SAT Results for 2012.

Vallejo Times-Herald: Vallejo district lauds high-performing kids, teachers

By Lanz Christian Bañes

There’s no secret to how Stacey Nicole Escanolo got a perfect score on the state standardized tests last year.

“I studied,” she said, beaming as she sat on her mother’s lap just moments after receiving an award from the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Stacey was just one of 84 Vallejo students honored by the district Wednesday night at Hogan Middle School for outstanding work on last year’s state tests.

via Vallejo district lauds high-performing kids, teachers.

KQED MindShift: How Will Students Perform? Depends on Teachers’ Expectations

By

Teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.

The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal, who in 1964 did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco.

The idea was to figure out what would happen if teachers were told that certain kids in their class were destined to succeed, so Rosenthal took a normal IQ test and dressed it up as a different test.

via How Will Students Perform? Depends on Teachers’ Expectations.