S.F. schools fall short of federal marks

The City’s public schools are not keeping up with federal mandates established under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, despite the fact that its overall scores on standardized tests have been higher than the state’s for eight years in a row.

Each year, schools and districts are given a numerical ranking, from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000, that reflects students’ test performance — with a state goal of reaching a rank of 800 or more. The number is called the Academic Performance Index, or API.

This year the San Francisco Unified School District was given an API of 777. The state API was 755.

However, nearly half of the district’s schools — 48 percent — did not meet federal benchmarks, called “Adequately Yearly Progress,” required under NCLB.

Under the federal goal, elementary and middle schools needed to show that at least 46 percent of students are proficient in English and 47.5 percent are proficient in math. The percentage mandates for high schools are 44.5 for English and 43.5 for math. Under NCLB, districts are expected to have 100 percent of students at proficiency, or grade level, by 2014. In recent years, California’s schools have been expected to boost their proficiency percentages by about 10 points every year, according to state officials.

Schools that do not reach Adequate Yearly Progress goals for two years in a row are designated as “Program Improvement” schools and face increasing sanctions every year thereafter, eventually facing the possibility of staff overhauls, new governance or restructuring.

“That’s the historic rub,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said. “Now that we have this dramatically increasing bar, the reality is it’s going to be more difficult for our schools.”

Officials with the San Francisco Unified School District said they’ve tried overhauling school leaders and staff in the past, and that changing the curriculum is the best way to improve student test scores.

This year the district’s most notable success story is at Malcolm X Academy, which was in its fifth year of Program Improvement.

The elementary school of about 120 students was showered with more hands-on resources, which have proven to be more effective in the past, school district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.

Practicing mathematicians were brought in to teach alongside math teachers, showing how math applies to real-life situations, for example.

The district also had a program that helped parents become more involved in their children’s academics, among several other “interventions,” Blythe said.

“We tried that approach of taking all the teachers and changing them entirely, but that has not been proven to be a long-term effective strategy,’’ Blythe said. “Different schools have different needs.”

Last year 28 of San Francisco’s public schools were designated as Program Improvement schools; 31 are on the list this year. Malcolm X was the only school that got off the list, meaning it met proficiency for two years in a row.

Two other SFUSD schools that had notable score increases are E.R. Taylor and Robert Louis Stevenson elementary schools, which were named “Blue Ribbon” schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

SFUSD ranks higher than overall state scores

The Accountability Progress Index, or API, is a number assigned to California schools that falls between 200 and 1,000 that reflects student performances on English and math tests. The state goal is an API of 800.


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San Francisco test results
How San Francisco public schools fared in 2009 compared with 2008 on the Academic Performance Index, the state accountability model, which has a performance target of 800 for each school
Separate from the state goal, federal targets under the No Child Left Behind Act require that students in all subgroups reach set proficiency levels on standardized test scores in math and English.
Name 2008 2009 Change Met federal benchmark
Elementary schools
Alamo Elementary School 902 913 11 Yes
Alvarado Elementary School 826 815 -11 No
Argonne Elementary School 873 869 -4 Yes
Bryant Elementary School 664 667 3 No
Buena Vista Annex School 642 738 96 Yes
Carmichael Elementary School 747 751 4 No
Carver Elementary School 672 667 -5 No
Chavez (Cesar) Elementary School 647 656 9 No
Chin (John Yehall) Elementary School 869 872 3 Yes
Chinese Education Center School 603 597 -6 No
Clarendon Elementary School 929 950 21 Yes
Cleveland Elementary School 656 683 27 No
Cobb (William L.) Elementary School 726 700 -26 No
Commodore Sloat Elementary School 854 872 18 Yes
Creative Arts Charter School 779 765 -14 No
Drew (Charles R.) Elementary School 623 667 44 Yes
El Dorado Elementary School 724 691 -33 No
Fairmount Elementary School 720 687 -33 No
Feinstein (Dianne) Elementary School 840 853 13 Yes
Flynn Elementary School 697 668 -29 No
Francis Scott Key Elementary School 861 878 17 Yes
Garfield Elementary School 867 812 -55 Yes
Glen Park Elementary School 794 784 -10 Yes
Grattan Elementary School 787 822 35 Yes
Guadalupe Elementary School 776 803 27 No
Harte (Bret) Elementary School 623 613 -10 No
Hillcrest Elementary School 671 679 8 No
Jefferson Elementary School 870 882 12 Yes
Lafayette Elementary School 853 862 9 Yes
Lakeshore Elementary School 830 812 -18 Yes
Lau (Gordon J.) Elementary School 836 830 -6 Yes
Lawton K-8 School 914 912 -2 Yes
Lilienthal K-8 School 892 913 21 Yes
Longfellow Elementary School 825 802 -23 No
Malcolm X Academy 592 692 100 Yes
Marshall Elementary School 706 746 40 Yes
McCoppin Elementary School 813 827 14 Yes
McKinley Elementary School 785 810 25 Yes
Milk (Harvey) Civil Rights Elementary School 772 783 11 Yes
Miraloma Elementary School 825 851 26 Yes
Mission Education Center School 385 372 -13 No
Monroe Elementary School 783 803 20 No
Moscone Elementary School 856 844 -12 Yes
Muir (John) Elementary School 634 592 -42 No
New Traditions Elementary School 785 807 22 Yes
Ortega (Jose) Elementary School 808 782 -26 Yes
Parker (Jean) Elementary School 846 832 -14 Yes
Parks (Rosa) Elementary School 743 713 -30 No
Peabody (George) Elementary School 859 873 14 Yes
Redding Elementary School 786 794 8 Yes
Revere (Paul) Elementary School 633 623 -10 No
Rooftop K-8 School 858 877 19 Yes
San Francisco Community K-8 School 802 804 2 Yes
Sanchez Elementary School 683 691 8 No
Serra Elementary School 765 * * No
Sheridan Elementary School 810 833 23 Yes
Sherman Elementary School 891 868 -23 Yes
Spring Valley Elementary School 833 823 -10 Yes
Starr King Elementary School 697 705 8 No
Stevenson Elementary School 924 921 -3 Yes
Sunnyside Elementary School 750 812 62 Yes
Sunset Elementary School 873 888 15 Yes
Sutro Elementary School 837 864 27 Yes
Taylor Elementary School 853 865 12 Yes
Tenderloin Community Elementary School 711 759 48 Yes
Ulloa Elementary School 903 911 8 Yes
Visitacion Valley Elementary School 835 823 -12 Yes
Webster (Daniel) Elementary School 612 645 33 Yes
West Portal Elementary School 907 900 -7 Yes
Yick Wo Elementary School 865 871 6 Yes
Yu (Alice Fong) K-8 School 948 951 3 Yes
Middle schools
A.P. Giannini Middle School 870 869 -1 No
Aptos Middle School 792 840 48 Yes
Brown, Jr. (Willie L.) Elementary 549 536 -13 No
Everett Middle School 591 647 56 No
Excelsior Middle School 608 * * *
Francisco Middle School 680 666 -14 No
Herbert Hoover Middle School 818 833 15 No
Horace Mann Middle School 592 623 31 No
James Denman Middle School 698 690 -8 No
James Lick Middle School 693 726 33 No
KIPP Bayview Academy 728 757 29 Yes
KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy 857 832 -25 Yes
King (Martin Luther) Middle School 704 707 3 No
Marina Middle School 790 792 2 No
Presidio Middle School 865 875 10 No
Roosevelt Middle School 850 873 23 Yes
Visitacion Valley Middle School 663 652 -11 No
High schools
Abraham Lincoln High School 764 751 -13 No
Balboa High School 725 747 22 No
Burton (Phillip & Sala) High School 662 615 -47 No
City Arts & Tech Charter High School 640 610 -30 No
Downtown High (Continuation) School 422 * * *
Galileo High School 742 757 15 No
Gateway Charter High School 718 743 25 Yes
George Washington High School 768 785 17 No
Independence High (Alternative) School 519 500 -19 No
International Studies Academy 601 590 -11 No
June Jordan School for Equity 521 504 -17 No
Leadership Charter High School 641 618 -23 No
Life Learning Charter Academy 571 582 11 Yes
Lowell High School 950 949 -1 Yes
Marshall (Thurgood) High School 629 575 -54 No
Metropolitan Arts and Technology Charter High 637 629 -8 No
Mission High School 545 555 10 No
Newcomer (Limited English Proficient) High School * * * No
OConnell (John A.) High School 566 550 -16 No
Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School 675 744 69 Yes
School of the Arts High School 747 781 34 No
Wells (Ida B.) Alternative High School 497 453 -44 No
* Scores not available
Source: California Department of Education

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