API scores up again for high schools
Woodside and Menlo-Atherton high schools, continuing their upward trends as measured by the state's Academic Performance Index (API), showed 2009-10 scores that were better than in 2008-09, according to recent reports from the California Department of Education.
The API, a three-digit number on a scale of 200 to 1,000 points, is the result of a formula that includes data calculations such as statewide ranking and standardized test results. Scores are available for individual schools, subgroups of more than 100 students within schools, school districts and the state as a whole.
Progress is always relative. Any score below 800 merits a specific goal for the following year, usually an increase of between 5 and 10 points. A second report in the fall shows whether the schools met their goals.
As has been true for the last decade at Woodside and M-A, there is significant distance between scores of white students and those of Hispanic students, but the year-to-year trends for both groups have been up — and for the latter group, way up.
API scores for Hispanic students at Woodside since 1999 have gone up 43 percent (to 702 from 490). At M-A, they've risen 39 percent (to 621 from 447).
By comparison, scores for white students have gone up 17 percent at Woodside (to 839 from 718) and 5 percent at M-A (to 902 from 858). Both schools ranked at or near the top among similar schools, as did Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City.
Of students in the federal reduced-price lunch program, students whose first language is not English and students with disabilities, only the students on the lunch program did not meet their most recent goal.
Not all students make it on to the API radar. At both Woodside and M-A, African-American, Asian-American and Pacific Islander student subgroups, for example, did not meet the 100-student minimum.
The two schools' overall APIs for the decade have risen 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively, compared with 21 percent for the Sequoia Union High School District which, for 2009, came in at 770.
Statewide, the high school API is 714, a 6 percent increase over the past five years.
At Summit Prep, which has three years of records with the state, the distance between white and Hispanic students is less pronounced at 884 and 747, respectively, for 2009. These numbers have not changed appreciably since 2006.
Go to cde.ca.gov and click on the link "Accountability Progress Reporting" for complete scores. Follow the directions for API information.
Standardized test scores in English and math are essentially the same for seventh-graders who went on to M-A, Woodside and Summit Prep, according to data provided by the Sequoia Union High School District.