The majority of Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District schools lost ground on student test performance in 2013, although many continued to exceed state targets, according to numbers released today by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
District students recorded a Growth Academic Performance Index (API) score of 775 in 2013, down 2 points from a 2012 Base API of 777.
Thomas Page Elementary students had the biggest decline, recording 20-point dip from a 2013 Growth API of a 2012 Base API of 775 to a 2013 Growth API of 755.
Despite the declines, five of Cotati-Rohnert Park's 11 schools exceeded the state's API target of 800. The API is a score ranging from 200 to 1,000 that measures how well students do on a variety of tests, including the California Standards Test and the state’s high school exit exam.
Here’s a detailed summary of the API from the California Department of Education.
Statewide, the number of California schools meeting the state target for student performance on standardized tests dropped by 2 percent. California Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson attributed the decline to the transition to Common Core Standards which all schools must implement by 2015.
"As you would expect for a school system in transition, results varied from grade to grade, subject to subject, and school to school, but the big picture is one of remarkable resilience despite the challenges," Torlakson said.
"While we all want to see California's progress continue, these results show that in the midst of change and uncertainty, teachers and schools kept their focus on students and learning. That's a testament to the depth of their commitment to their students and the future of our state."
Students in the class of 2013 passed California’s High School Examination (CAHSEE) at the highest rate since the test was made a graduation requirement, with 95.5 percent earning a passing score, Torlakson announced Thursday.
CAHSEE and Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) scores, announced earlier this month, figure heavily in state and federal school accountability results, which Torlakson also announced today. For the second straight year, a majority of schools statewide met or exceeded the state performance target of 800 points on the Academic Performance Index (API).
“Despite the very real challenges of deep budget cuts and the ongoing effort to shift to new, more demanding academic standards, our schools persevered and students made progress,” Torlakson said. “These results should give us confidence as we start the new school year, and our efforts to make college- and career-readiness a goal for every student move into high gear.”
Statewide, the number of California schools meeting the state target for student performance on standardized tests dropped by 2 percent as schools dealt with ongoing budget reductions and the transition to the Common Core State Standards, said Torlakson.
"As you would expect for a school system in transition, results varied from grade to grade, subject to subject, and school to school, but the big picture is one of remarkable resilience despite the challenges," Torlakson said. "While we all want to see California's progress continue, these results show that in the midst of change and uncertainty, teachers and schools kept their focus on students and learning. That's a testament to the depth of their commitment to their students and the future of our state."
In 2013, 51 percent of the state’s schools earned an Academic Performance Index score of 800 or above, compared to 53 percent the previous year.
Based on 2013 test scores, 56 percent of elementary schools, 50 percent of middle schools, and 31 percent of high schools are now at or above the 800 mark.
In the last decade, the number of schools meeting the target of an 800 API has increased by 30 percent.
The state’s overall API dropped two points to 789 from 791, but Torlakson was quick to note that the statewide API for poor students and students learning English increased five points and one point, respectively.
As expected, the unrealistic federal proficiency targets set under No Child Left Behind continued to identify an even larger number of schools, including many at or above the state’s performance target, for Program Improvement (PI).
“It is unfortunate that officials in Washington continue to enforce a program they have acknowledged is deeply flawed, and that paints too many high-achieving schools with the same broad brush,” Torlakson said. “As an elected official, I’m obliged to comply with the law. But as a teacher, I’ll continue to urge Congress and the Administration to get to work, change course, and replace No Child Left Behind with a workable law that fosters rather than hinders the progress California’s schools are making.”
The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) performance targets for 2012-13 identify all Title I schools for Program Improvement unless nearly 90 percent of students attain proficiency.
As a result, only 14 percent out of 9,861 schools met the AYP benchmarks this year compared to 26 percent last year. Of the more than 6,200 Title I-funded schools, only 10 percent reached federal proficiency.
Among the schools identified for PI, 30 percent have an API of 800 or higher. This year, 741 Title I schools are new to PI.
"As valuable as STAR has been, we're getting ready to raise the bar in California's schools," Torlakson said. "This coming year, many students will have their first chance to try tests that measure their preparation for college and the world of work. That's a huge challenge for every part of our education system—but one we have to tackle to give every student the opportunity to prepare for a bright future."