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    News in Depth

    We Post Academic Performance Index Rankings Comparing LB Schools To Schools Statewide

    Subsequent development: On May 16, 2006 the CA Dept. of Education revised its rankings for what it calls "similar schools" which affected some of the figures in the text below. The figures on the CA Dept. of Education website have been updated to reflect this. To view's subsequent coverage of the revised figures, click here.

    (March 21, 2006) -- posts a link below to CA Dept. of Education's Academic Performance Index (API) rankings, released March 21, allowing readers to compare the academic performance of all LBUSD schools against schools statewide...and in detail concerning each school.

    Today's rankings apply API base scores to reflect "deciles" (percentiles of ten), ranking each school within a 10% academic performance level chunk with 10 as the best (the top 10%) and 1 as worst (the bottom 10%).

    As in previous years, several LB elementary school are in decile 10 (top 10% = Gant, Fremont, Lowell, Naples) and 9 (top 20% but not top 10% = Longfellow, Newcomb, Twain).

    Among LB Middle Schools, Hughes and Stanford scored in decile 9. Franklin and Demille scored in decile 1.

    As in past years, with the exception of LBUSD's Academy of Math & Science (a magnet school, achieving decile 10), the highest ranking LB High Schools reached decile 7 statewide (within top 40% but not top 30% = Lakewood, Poly, Wilson, Savannah [grade 9]); ELB's Millikan High is in decile 5...and Jordan and Cabrillo are in decile 2 (bottom 20% but not lowest 10% = Jordan).

    In addition to statewide ranks, the CA Dept. of Education also releases deciles comparing each school to what it calls "similar" schools" using what CDE calls "similar demographic characteristics." These include "Pupil mobility, Pupil ethnicity, Pupil socioeconomic status, Percentage of teachers who are fully credentialed, Percentage of teachers who hold emergency credentials, Percentage of pupils who are English learners, Average class size per grade level, Whether the schools operate multitrack year-round educational programs." Since Jan. 2006, the demographic characteristics also include "Grade span enrollments (grades two, six, seven to eight, and nine to eleven), Students in Gifted and Talented Education program, Students with disabilities, Reclassified fluent-English-proficient (RFEP) students, Migrant education students, Students in full-day reduced class size program."

    In some cases, the "similar school" comparison produces higher deciles. Cesar Chavez Elementary (just NW of LB Civic Center) is in decile 3 statewide...but decile 8 compared to schools with similar demographic characteristics.

    However some LB schools that ranked well compared to schools "statewide" scored lower when compared to demographically "similar schools." ELB's Gant Elementary was in decile 10 statewide...but only decile 7 when compared to demographically similar schools. ELB's Prisk & Cubberley Elementary schools were in decile 8 statewide but only decile 4 compared to demographically similar schools.

    ELB's Millikan High, in decile 5 statewide, was in decile 3 compared to demographically similar schools. NLB's Jordan High, in decile 2 statewide, was also in decile 2 compared to demographically similar schools.

    On its website, CDE says:

    It is important to note that there will always be schools ranked 1 and schools ranked 10 because of the nature of the decile system. Ten percent of schools will always be in each decile. However, the range of scores included in each decile has increased steadily over time. For example, an API score of 638 in 1999 would place an elementary school above the median and in statewide rank 6. That same API score of 638 in 2005 would place a school in the bottom statewide rank 1. "This illustrates how our schools are advancing as a whole. A respectable score earned in 1999 would not be cause for celebration today because of the steady rise in scores overall," said [State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.]

    To view the API decile rankings and scores for LBUSD schools, click LBUSD 2006 API deciles with scores, released March 21/06.

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