SFUSD ahead in state test scores, not meeting federal standards

San Francisco schools are staying ahead of the state’s average standardized scores for the ninth year in a row, yet less than half of the district’s students are meeting standards under No Child Left Behind.

Each year, students are tested on math and English skills with the goal of improving year over year on the Academic Performance Index. Schools are given a score between 200 and 1,000. The overall goal is to reach a score of 800 or above to be considered “proficient.”

The San Francisco Unified School District scored a 791 for its 2010 growth API, which is 16 points over the 2009 base of 775. The state saw a 13-point growth from 2009 to 2010, going from 754 to 767.

However, 48 percent of San Francisco schools did not meet the federal benchmarks — known as Adequate Yearly Progress — for the second year in a row.

Fairmount Elementary School saw the largest point gain for API scores in the district, exceeding its growth goals. The school went from 687 in 2009 to 765 in 2010, while Sunnyside Elementary School saw the largest fall from 812 in 2009 to 768 in 2010.

Statewide, 46 percent of schools reached the goal of 800, an increase of 4 percentage points. According to state Superintendent Jack O’Connell, with the increase in students meeting proficiency, it may be time consider moving target API scores.

“California schools are made great by hard-working students, teachers, administrators, paraeducators, school board members, and parents,” he said in a released statement. “I know that they could meet this challenge by keeping up the momentum and helping even more students reach higher levels of success.”

The state API and federal AYP results report progress in different ways, according to state education officials. The state API is an index model that measures year-to-year improvement and provides incentives to educators to focus on students at all performance levels.

In contrast, the federal AYP system focuses solely on whether or not students are scoring at the proficient level or above on state assessments.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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