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Sacramento Releases Base API For Schools

khts_schools_chalkboardState Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell kicked off California's annual reporting cycle of academic growth and achievement with the release of the public school rankings and the Base Academic Performance Index (API) report.

“How a school is faring in comparison to all schools in the state or to those similar in nature is of vital importance to parents, teachers, education advocates, and the business community who are all interested in student performance,” said O’Connell. “This information gives the public additional knowledge about how their schools compare to other schools in their region and statewide.”

According to Dave LeBarron, the Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the Hart District, the base API is a calculation of last spring’s growth plus this fall’s growth.

“The test battery from last year had changed slightly, with some additions and modifications to compare them, so the new scores are the state’s attempt to modify last fall scores add things that weren’t there and take away things that are there now,” he explained. “Now we can compare these to the test results we’re going to get in the fall.”

Students at various grade levels have just completed STAR testing and high school students recently took the CAHSEE tests, which will be used to produce new API scores that should be released in August.

“The scores released today are not based on any current test score at all, “LeBarron said. “It’s simply a modification of last fall’s growth scores that we earned. Because the test battery has changed between last year and this year, they had to modify them to allow us to compare.

“When we get results of our current testing, in order to compare them, they had to be apples to apples. If we used last year’s growth scores, it would be apples to oranges because the tests the students took weren’t exactly the same, but now we can have an accurate comparison.”

LeBarron said that the information released today was important because it ranks schools in two categories: statewide and comparable schools.

“Statewide, they are ranked high to low. These scores put out schools in the top half of schools in the rankings. Then they rank similar schools, which have the same demographics and are the same size. All of our schools, with a couple of exceptions, are in the top half of that ranking.

It allows us to compare ourselves to similar schools across the state in general and similar schools, and in both cases, we’ve done very well,” he concluded.

A school's statewide rank is based on the school's Base API and is calculated separately for three types of schools: elementary, middle, and high schools. Ranks are established by deciles. Each decile contains 10 percent of all schools of each type.

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.

The similar schools rank is similar to the statewide rank, except that each school is ranked relative to a group of 100 schools determined to be similar to the comparison school based on certain school, student, and teacher characteristics. The school's similar schools rank is the decile where that school's Base API falls compared with the Base APIs of the 100 other similar schools in the comparison group.

Along with the release of the school ranks, the state accountability reporting cycle begins each year with the release of a Base API for each school. The Base API is calculated using the test results of the previous year. The Growth API, which is calculated using the test results of the current year, is compared against the Base API.

In addition, the Base API report includes API growth targets that each school and each numerically significant subgroup of students at each school, must meet. As part of his Closing the Achievement Gap initiative, O’Connell led an effort to change the way subgroup growth targets are calculated. As a result, now growth targets for lower achieving student subgroups are greater than for each school as a whole.

The scores and school rankings (statewide/similar schools), by district:

William S. Hart – Junior High

  • Arroyo Seco 834 (8/4)
  • La Mesa 797 (7/8)
  • Placerita 866 (9/10)
  • Rancho Pico 887 (10/9)
  • Rio Norte 861 (9/4)
  • Sierra Vista 818 (8/7)

William S. Hart – High Schools

  • Academy of the Canyons 878 (10/7)
  • Canyon High 785 (8/9)
  • Golden Valley High 748 (6/8)
  • Opportunities for Learning 682 (3/10)
  • Santa Clarita Early College High 912 (10/10)
  • Saugus High 814 (9/7)
  • Valencia High 833 (9/8)
  • West Ranch High 836 (9/6)
  • William S. Hart High 804 (9/7)

William S. Hart – Small and Alternative Schools

  • Learning Post 760 **
  • Mission View Public * 647 **
  • Santa Clarita International *843 **
  • Sequoia Charter 602 **
  • Bowman High 670 **

Newhall School District

  • McGrath 855 (8/10)
  • Meadows 861 (8/5)
  • Newhall 812 (6/7)
  • Oak Hills 933 (10/8)
  • Old Orchard 850 (8/6)
  • Peachland 873 (9/10)
  • Pico Canyon 908 (10/7)
  • Stevenson Ranch 957 (10/10)
  • Valencia Valley 927 (10/10)
  • Wiley Canyon 860 (8/9)

Saugus School District

  • Bouquet 850 (8/3)
  • Bridgeport 915 (10/9)
  • Cedarcreek 752 (4/3)
  • Charles Helmers 891 (9/2)
  • Emblem 877 (9/9)
  • Highlands 829 (7/2)
  • Foster 852 (8/2)
  • Mountainview 897 (9/3)
  • North Park 893 (9/6)
  • Plum Canyon 864 (8/2)
  • Rio Vista 799 (6/2)
  • Rosedell 867 (8/7)
  • Santa Clarita 854 (8/5)
  • Skyblue Mesa 824 (7/3)
  • Tesoro del Valle 902 (9/3)

    Sulphur Springs District

    • Canyon Springs 758 (4/4)
    • Fair Oaks 837 (7/4)
    • Golden Oak *893 (9/6)
    • Leona Cox 819 (7/6)
    • Mint Canyon 768 (4/5)
    • Mitchell 833 (7/4)
    • Pinetree 830 (7/3)
    • Sulphur Springs 857 (8/3)
    • Valley View 804 (6/4)

    Castaic District

    • Castaic Elementary 857 (8/1)
    • Live Oak Elementary 801 (6/1)
    • Northlake Elementary 848 (8/2)
    • Castaic Middle School 823 (8/5)

      * denotes new school

      ** denotes small school with less reliable data; not ranked.

      Complete scores and individual school details are available here.