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Five Hayward schools on bottom 5% list

UPDATE: Two Hayward high schools were removed from the final list.

The California Department of Education released its list of “Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools” today, meaning those in the bottom 5 percentile, and Hayward was well represented.

Here are the lists, in two sections: Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Hayward Unified was the only district in Alameda County to have high schools on the list, and all three were on it — Hayward High, Mt. Eden High and Tennyson High.

Interim Superintendent Janis Duran said it was “very disheartening” to see them there, considering Mt. Eden and Tennyson have made significant gains in API scores over the past five years.

In order to receive federal funds to help turn listed schools around, districts must adopt one of four intervention models. They range from the very drastic — closing the school, or reopening it under a charter operator — to the not-so-drastic-but-still-significant, which involve changing the principal and either replacing at least 50 percent of the staff or increasing instructional time.

Duran said the latter has already been accomplished at high schools because of the switch from the block schedule system.

That move, approved by trustees last year, was done as a budget cutting measure to save the district $1 million. But it may prove handy, if feds agree that it could count as part of an intervention model.

Duran said they “are still getting clarity for interventions” and have not made any decisions regarding available options.

Longwood and Burbank elementary schools were also on the state’s list. Longwood has already been slated for restructuring because of unacceptable test scores, but Burbank has seen a turnaround. However, the method used in selecting schools for the list averaged scores over the past three years, putting Burbank on the list despite this year’s 25-point growth in API scores. Harder, which is the other school facing restructuring, had better scores than Burbank three years ago but they’ve since switched places.

“I would think that attention would be given to the fact that we have recently improved scores,” Duran said.

Here’s the state Web site with more information about the list and how the schools were identified.

Eric Kurhi