State tests: Las Lomitas ranks first among K-8 districts; other local districts score high


Local elementary school districts are among the highest-ranked in the state based on the 2009 Academic Performance Index scores, with the Las Lomitas district topping the list of the state's K-8 districts.

The two-school district, comprising Las Lomitas elementary in Atherton and La Entrada middle in Menlo Park, scored 966 out of a possible 1,000 points. That score is up 10 points from 2008.

The Menlo Park City, Portola Valley, and Woodside school districts also earned a 10 in the state's ranking from 1 to 10.

The latest scores from the state Department of Education are based on tests taken in early 2009. Last fall, a preliminary report was issued, and Las Lomitas was singled out as the top district at the time. Although the score announced at that time dropped by one point after the state's additional statistical analysis, the top ranking didn't change.

Las Lomitas Superintendent Eric Hartwig noted that the updated report provides a more meaningful measure of comparison for the district, because it compares each school with schools having similar socio-economic factors. Both Las Lomitas district schools earned a ranking of 10 in that category.

The similar-school ranking shows "that the performance (by students) isn't just because we're in an affluent district," Mr. Hartwig said. He added, "I'm terribly proud of our kids and our teachers, who really, really work hard."

The Portola Valley district, which includes Ormondale and Corte Madera schools, was the ninth highest-scoring district in the state. Its score of 946 was down three points from 2008. Both schools were ranked 9 in comparison with similar schools.

The Woodside district's score came in 19th place statewide. Its score of 932 points was down from 951 in 2008. The district's only school, Woodside Elementary, was ranked 9 in the similar-school category.

The Menlo Park district's score put it 21st in the state, with a score of 931 -- a 17-point gain over last year's score. Both Oak Knoll elementary and Hillview middle schools were ranked 9 in comparison with similar schools, while Laurel and Encinal didn't fare as well. Laurel earned a 5 and Encinal a 7 in the similar-school category.

Go to California Department of Education's website for a full list of the state's API rankings.

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Like this comment
Posted by Flabbergasted
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

But Las Lomitas has portables...

How could Las Lomitas do so well relative to Menlo Park when they have portables that degrade a student's learning, a parent's self-satisfaction, and the health of the students with portable off-gassing (which, as every lemming knows is COMPLETELY absent from new construction) ?

How could this be?

Any luminaries willing to enlighten?

Like this comment
Posted by Luminary
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

They built a new gym instead dontcha know. My kid who went there said they didn't need a new gym.
Those teachers classes cram for those tests, spend a lot of class time working on test prep for this kind of thing to get those rankings, which I didn't like since my kid had to spend mucho time on that in class

Like this comment
Posted by David Henig
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on May 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Congratulations to the students, teachers, administrators and parents of the Las Lomitas Elementary School District. All the districts in the area did extremely well. We all should be proud to support great public education.

Like this comment
Posted by Linda Harris
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on May 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Congratulations Las Lomitas Teachers, Staff, and Students!!!
We are so proud to be a part of this amazing school district!

Like this comment
Posted by Patti Price
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Congratulations to some of Menlo Park Schools. Hope that we can figure out a way to bring up the levels of learning at ALL those who live in Menlo Park, including those in the Ravenswood district. Could you print those for comparison?

Like this comment
Posted by Hamilton Park
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I agree with Patti. The division of resources in such a wealthy and progressive area is absolutely staggering. As a life long resident of Menlo Park, it only seems to be getting worse.

Like this comment
Posted by Solo
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

CA is ranked 47th in money spent per child, so 1st in api in a state that spends 1/2 to 1/3 of other states is not too impressive. Perhaps to those who were "sold" to great schools, it's justification to pay 20K in taxes a year for TOP schools.....have fun selling and trying to get your dollars back.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Luminary 2
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Nov 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm

It's marketing to get more to donate to the "system". The system loves naive tax dolars and lemmings new to the CA system.

Imagine, you're new the the area and just moved to the Bay Area with a new job. You look for a place to raise the kids w/ good schools. Your result tells to buy buy buy in a "good" school district. Than you later find out you're fresh bait.

Like this comment
Posted by Hawk
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Top API's scores in a state where over 50% of the students are hispanics who hardly speak english or plan on going to college isn't all that great. How can you compete with other states that spend twice as much per pupil. at 11-12K/child even in you tops CA schools ranks way below the 20-25k/child other top public schools in other states spend.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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