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2012 Academic Performance Index Base, Growth Targets, and School Rankings

Today, the California Department of Education released the 2012 Academic Performance Index (API) Base Reports. The reports include the Base APIs, Growth Targets, and Statewide and Similar Schools rankings for nearly every public school and district as mandated by California’s Public Schools Accountability Act. The 2012 Base Reports reflect results of 2012 statewide testing.

Of the 183 Ventura County API recipient schools that are not ASAM (Alternative Schools Accountability Model) and have student populations of 100 or more students, 103 schools (56%) posted APIs of 800 or better, up slightly from 54% last year.

Oak Park Unified School District posted the highest Base API scores of all Ventura County schools at all three levels: elementary, middle and high school. Oak Hills Elementary School attained the highest Base API in Ventura County, 959 on the 1000-point scale. For the fifth year in a row the highest Base API for a middle school in 2012 was earned by Medea Creek Middle School. The Medea Creek API in 2012 was 945. Finally, the highest Base API for a high school was 929, earned by Oak Park High School.

To continue to look at outstanding performers we must search out those schools that score well in an absolute sense (statewide rank) and in relation to schools with similar student populations (similar schools rank). This year one Ventura County school received both a Statewide Rank of 10 and a Similar Schools Rank of 10:

  • Oak Hills Elementary School (Oak Park Unified)

Seventeen schools in Ventura County (9%) scored in the top ten percent of all California schools with more than 100 students. Districts represented include: Conejo Valley Unified, Mupu Elementary, Oak Park Unified, Oxnard Union High, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Simi Valley Unified, Ventura Unified and the Ventura County Office of Education. Santa Clara Elementary, although less than 100 students, also scored in the top ten percent. Technically, they have the highest score in the County with their Base API score of 966.

Twenty-four schools in Ventura County scored in decile 9, meaning that 22% of schools in Ventura County are currently ranked in the top 20% of the State. One hundred schools (55%) ranked above average (deciles 6-10).

Often school success is in large part a product of district-wide efforts. This can be seen in a number of local schools that, while facing some of the region’s most formidable educational challenges, have made more academic progress than similarly challenged schools. Four of Santa Paula Elementary School District’s six K-5 schools scored in the top ten percent (rank of 10) compared to their California peers on the similar school ranking. Throughout the county, a total of seven schools earned the top ranking of 10, an increase of two schools from last year.
Santa Paula Elementary School District

  • Barbara Webster Elementary School
  • Grace Thille Elementary School
  • McKevett Elementary School
  • Thelma Bedell Elementary School
  • Simi Valley Unified School District
  • Santa Susana Elementary School
  • Santa Susana High School
  • Oak Park Unified School District
  • Oak Hills Elementary School

Ten school districts, one more than in 2012, posted district-wide API scores at or above the State target of 800. Districts included Conejo Valley Unified (882), Mesa Union (858), Moorpark Unified (844), Mupu Elementary (845), Oak Park Unified (934), Ojai Unified (813), Pleasant Valley Elementary (869), Santa Clara Elementary (966), Simi Valley Unified (837), and Ventura Unified (818).

Mr. Mantooth stressed that, “Ventura County educators and parents continue to provide programs, support and resources so that all our students have every opportunity to succeed. As a community we are focused on every student becoming college and career ready. The 2012 API Base results demonstrate our collective and ongoing commitment to keep our county’s schools on the path toward academic excellence.

There are two changes to the calculation of the API Base for 2012. The first change reflects action taken by the State Board of Education (SBE) in March 2013 when the SBE eliminated the lowering of performance levels of students in grade eight or nine who take the CST in General Mathematics. In prior years, the CST in General Mathematics results for any student in grade eight or nine were adjusted due to the difference in grade-level standards. This was done by lowering the API credit by one performance level for a grade eight student record and two performance levels for a grade nine student record. However, based on the SBE decision, starting with the 2012 Base API, performance levels were not lowered for these student records. The earned score are reflected in the API without an adjustment.

The second change, the removal of 2012 ELA writing scores from the 2012 Base API, was made by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to allow for appropriate comparisons between 2012 Base and the 2013 Growth APIs. Beginning in 2013, the writing portion of the English-language arts (ELA) tests for grades four and seven will be reported as a separate rubric score from the ELA scale scores for the California Standards Test (CST) and California Modified Assessment (CMA). This is to allow for faster turn-around of student performance data on the CSTs and CMA which is a priority of the SSPI as well as the SBE. As a result, the writing portion will no longer be included in the calculation of the API and was not included in the 2012 Base API.

The Academic Performance Index (API) is a numeric index (or scale) ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000 that reflects the academic performance level of a school or district (LEA) based on the results of statewide testing. The recently released 2012 Base API reports reflect results of 2012 statewide testing. Calculations for the 2012 Base API scores include:

  • California Standards Tests (CST) in English-language arts and mathematics in grades 2 through 11.
  • The CSTs in science in grades 5 and 8 through 11.
  • The CSTs in history-social science in grades 8, 10, and 11.
  • The California Modified Assessment (CMA) in English-language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 11, and science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CMA is an assessment of California content standards based on modified achievement standards. It is offered to some students with disabilities in accordance with their individualized education program.
  • The California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) in English-language arts and mathematics in grades 2 through 11, and science in grades 5, 8 and 10. The CAPA is an alternative assessment for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to take the CSTs or CMAs.
  • The California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) results in English-language arts and mathematics for grades 10 through 12.

The State Board of Education has set 800 as the target API that schools and districts should strive to attain. Additionally, each school is rated on two 10-point scales, one reflecting the school’s overall level of achievement (for example, a 10 would indicate the school is in the top 10% of all California schools), and the other representing how well the school has performed as compared to schools with similar student populations elsewhere in the state.

Schools with numerically significant groups of students within schools also have annual APIs and annual growth targets. Over the years the API subgroup targets have become more challenging. Schools must make a minimum of 5% growth between its 2006 subgroup APIs and 800 until the API score approaches the state target of 800.

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