By Katy Murphy
Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 10:30 am in test scores.
Today, the state released its re-calulated Academic Performance Index (API) scores based on tests taken in the spring of 2008. These numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise to many schools, since the STAR test scores and ”Growth” APIs were released last fall.
Each year for some reason, the state education department tinkers with the way it calculates the API, a single, three-digit score based on a battery of tests from the high school exit exam and STAR tests to the English language learner assessments. So the new API numbers, released today, are re-weighted scores based on last year’s results. These numbers will be compared with the 2009 API scores that come out in August or September.
Snore… What’s new, then? The rankings. Each school gets a number from 1 (bad) to 10 (good) based on how it matches up with others in the state. In other words, schools in the top 10 percent are ranked a “10,” and those in the bottom 10 percent are ranked a “1.”
They also receive a “similar schools” ranking, in which they are compared to 99 other schools with similar demographics (parent education levels, ethnicity, percentage of kids who qualify for free lunch, etc.).
Here is a spreadsheet of Oakland schools, sorted by type of school (elementary, middle, high, alternative) and API score, in descending order.
This year, of the 142 Oakland schools that received API scores, 77 – about half – got a “1″ or a “2,” meaning they were in the bottom 20 percent, statewide. Of those schools, nine ranked a “5″ or above when compared to schools with similar demographics.
By contrast, 16 Oakland schools were ranked a “9″ or “10.” Last year, only 13 did so.