Glendora Unified School District continued to score well in API (Academic Performance Index) marks, with all schools surpassing the state benchmark of 800, according to scores released by the California Department of Education last week.
Two schools, Sutherland Elementary and Cullen Elementary scored above 900, at 910 and 917, respectively.
As a district, Glendora scored an 865, a five point growth difference from last year.
“We are very pleased with the scores,” said Michelle Hunter, assistant superintendent of educational services. “We think it’s a very strong reflection of the work of our parents, teachers and students.“
The API is a numeric score that ranges from 200 to 1,000. All student groups at a school must meet their growth targets for the school to meet its API growth target.
Two Glendora schools, however, fell slightly in scores from the year before, with La Fetra Elementary falling 4 points from the previous year and Sellers Elementary falling 13 points.
“We’re always looking for improvement,” said Hunter. “We will reflect on all of our scores whether gains were made or not. We will look at ways to continue to meet the needs of our students. When our schools lose ground we know there’s always an ebb and flow in the process.”
Like most schools in California, Glendora did not meet the federal AYP testing goals.
Under No Child Left Behind, AYP scores are intended to measure the achievement of schools and districts within different student racial, special education, and socio-economic subgroups. Schools must have a 95 percent participation rate in English Language Arts and mathematics state assessments, and all student groups are expected to be at the proficient level.
Each year, the targets increase annually by about 11 percentage points until the 2013-2014 academic year, when 100 percent of students are expected to perform at the proficient level. Schools and districts that fall below these targets are placed in Program Improvement.
However, AYP guidelines have been criticized for its “cookie-cutter” approach to students with unusual circumstances, such as students new to the country or with learning disabilities.
“Unfortunately the AYP is not designed with those exceptions in mind,” said Hunter.
Most California schools did not meet AYP standards, with only 27 percent of elementary schools, 18 percent of middle schools, and 28 percent of high schools making AYP targets in 2012. California is seeking a waiver from this year’s federal guidelines.
“We think the API is a better measurement because it’s more of a growth measurement and it allows us to really reflect on our work and look at areas where we can continue to improve,” said Hunter.
The following are API scores for Glendora Unified, with the exception of Whitcomb Continuation School.
Cullen Elementary 917
La Fetra Elementary 886
Sellers Elementary 896
Stanton Elementary 888
Sutherland Elementary 919
Goddard Middle School 881
Sandburg Middle School 868
Glendora High School 857