Monday, September 13, 2010

Accountability Reports Show Improvement at Individual Schools, Progress on Achievement Gap

The state's 2009-10 Accountability Progress Report (APR) released Sept. 13 showed improvement at many district elementary, middle and high schools along with a small narrowing of the achievement gap among some student groups.

Four San Diego Unified schools are exiting Program Improvement, four others' scores rose enough to keep them out of Program Improvement. On the Academic Performance Index (API), 15 schools had growth of 50 points or more. This year, 101 schools had API scores of 800 or above, up from 80 last year. Of those schools, 25 had scores at or above 900, up from 21 last year.

The annual Accountability Progress Report (APR) determines whether schools and districts have met their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind. Students in a variety of categories and grades are given standardized tests to measure their knowledge of English language arts and mathematics.

"The hard work by our students, teachers and staff members is shown in these test results," said Superintendent Bill Kowba. "Of particular note are those schools that will exit Program Improvement, those that met  their AYP this year and won't go into Program Improvement, and those with 50 points or more growth on the API."

In addition, there was continued evidence that the achievement gap is narrowing among some student groups. Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, English Learner, and Students with Disabilities showed higher levels of improvement than other groups.

"While we can be proud of these accomplishments, this is no time to sit on our laurels or accept the status quo. It is imperative that we continue to accelerate our efforts to boost student achievement and slash the achievement gap," added Kowba.

Schools exiting Program Improvement are: Edison, Encanto and Garfield elementary schools; and Lewis Middle School. Those that met AYP and not entering Program Improvement are Cabrillo,Clay, Lee and Longfellow elementary schools.

Overall, 65 percent of San Diego Unified's schools met their AYP target; statewide, only 57 percent of schools met this target.

San Diego Unified met 39 of 50 criteria and did not make its Adequate Yearly Progress measure. In its second year of Program Improvement under No Child Left Behind, San Diego Unified joins all other large urban school districts in California that are required to identify corrective actions during the coming year. San Diego Unified was the final of the nine largest California districts and one of the last large districts in the nation to be placed on program improvement.

For more information on individual school reports, go to the California Department of Education.