Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Buckingham Scores at Top in Statewide Testing

Buckingham Scores at Top in Statewide Testing
By Robin Miller/City Editor

Buckingham Charter School's score on the latest Academic Performance Index (API) results, released Tuesday, has landed it on the top level in California - in two respects.
And that may be a performance unprecedented for Vacaville.

First, Buckingham scored at the 10th decile among all public high schools in the state.

Secondly, Buckingham achieved the 10th decile among high schools of similar demographics.

Mark Frazier, the Vacaville Unified School District's Director of Special Assignments, said he believed Buckingham's achievement was a first for the district.

"I don't think we've ever had two 10s before," he said.

The Academic Performance Index (API) ranks 9,400 California schools. API scores originally were released in August and were re-released in the latest report, reflecting minor adjustments based on the inclusion of a few new tests.

The scores, ranging between 200 and 1,000, are given to each public school to reflect student performance on a host of standardized tests. Schools are ranked from 1 to 10 compared with all schools statewide and with schools of similar demographics.

Each spring the state uses the scores to set targets for schools to meet on end-of-year exams. In the fall, the state will report how test scores have changed from the base and whether schools met their targets

In the Vacaville Unified School District, five schools - Alamo, Browns Valley, Cooper, and Orchard elementary schools along with Buckingham - already have surpassed the statewide performance target score of 800.

Though Vacaville and Will C. Wood high schools fell short of the 800 mark, both scored in the 700s, showing marked improvement from past years. Last year, Vaca High ranked in the fifth decile statewide and in the second compared to similar schools. Wood ranked in the sixth decile statewide and fourth compared to similar schools. This year, both ranked in the seventh decile statewide and in the eighth decile compared to similar schools.

"The biggest changes I see are really the ranks of our secondary sites," said Frazier "(Scores) really have come up a lot."

In the Travis Unified School District, all schools have hit the 800 target except Cambridge Elementary and Vanden High School, both of which scored in the high 700s.

In the Fairfield-Suisun School District only K.I. Jones, Nelda Mundy, Suisun Valley, and B. Gale Wilson elementary schools have hit the 800 target. Tolenas Elementary missed the target by just a hair, scoring 799.

In Dixon Unified School District only Tremont Elementary has met the target, scoring an 801.

And in the River Delta School District, which includes the city of Rio Vista, White Elementary, Riverview Middle and Rio Vista High schools each have yet to score an 800 or above.

In the Travis Unified School District, Travis Elementary, Golden West Middle and Vanden High schools were ranked at 10 when compared to similar schools.

In releasing the scores Tuesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said he was "proud" of students, parents and educators in California for showing continued progress in the API scores.

The 2006 Base API results, growth targets, and school rankings are posted at

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