In case you’re not already having dreams (or nightmares) about No. 2 pencils and bubbles, I’m here to bring you data on last year’s state tests. Hey, don’t blame the timing on me! The state settled on the release date.
The California Department of Education sorted schools of each type, statewide, and gave them a rank from 1 (low) to 10 (high). Those whose API scores were in the lowest 10 percent (of all elementary schools, for example, or of all high schools) are ranked 1; those in the highest 10 percent are ranked 10. About 77 percent of Oakland’s public schools, including charters, fell in the bottom half, receiving ranks of 1-5.
Then there’s a “similar schools” rank, which is less reliable, but interesting nonetheless. It compares sets of 100 schools that supposedly have similar student demographics. Because those pools change, and the pools themselves are so small, these ranks tend to fluctuate from year to year. One similar schools ranking that jumped out at me was Joaquin Miller, a high-performing school that received a statewide rank of 9, but a similar schools rank of 1.