Monday, October 31, 2005
Vacaville schools do well with state targets
Article Last Updated: 10/28/2005 07:50 AM
Vaca schools do well with state targets
By Julie Kay/Staff Writer
Two-thirds of Vacaville's 15 public schools last year met both of the state's targets for growth in test scores, according to figures released Thursday by the California Department of Education.
And while five of the district's schools did not meet growth targets for certain demographic minorities, that number decreased from eight schools.
Scores are reflected in schools' Academic Performance Indexes - a number on a 1,000-point scale based on the results of several standardized tests.
To meet both state targets, the API of a school's population overall must rise a certain amount from the prior year, and so must the API's of its significant subgroups.
The API of the Vacaville district as a whole rose from 703 to 726 from 2004 to 2005.
Hispanic or Latino students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students, the district's two largest subgroups, also both showed significant improvement, with the former increasing its API from 618 to 641, and the latter increasing its API from 601 to 632.
In nearby districts, about the same number of schools which met both targets last year did so this year. Four of Dixon's six schools, 15 of Fairfield-Suisun's 26 schools, and three of Travis' seven schools met both targets.
While schools' API's were first released in August, they were used then primarily to determine whether schools met federal goals. The information provided Thursday shows whether schools met state targets. The two calculation methods vary considerably. The state model is based on growth; the federal model is based on whether or not enough students show proficiency.
Of all of Vacaville's schools, Markham Elementary showed the most growth in test scores among its demographic minorities. The API for the school's Hispanic and Latino students shot up 64 points from 572 to 636 from 2004 to 2005; the API for the school's socioeconomically disadvantaged students rose 62 points from 588 to 650.
Will C. Wood High School and Alamo, Callison, Fairmont and Sierra Vista elementaries lost ground in closing the gap between one or more subgroups and the rest of the school population. Wood, Fairmont and Sierra Vista also failed to meet state targets for the student population as a whole.
Statewide, a greater percentage of schools met state targets than last year, reflecting the fact that more subgroups of students also met targets.
"I am particularly pleased to see progress made by all students and in subgroups of students," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell in a written statement. "While we clearly have a long way to go, this shows our schools' focus on California's standards-based curriculum is paying dividends in improved student achievement."
The 2004-05 API Growth reports are available on the California Department of Education's Web site at http://api.cde.ca.gov.
Julie Kay can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted by Solano EDC at 10:39 AM
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