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LAUSD improves API score

8/31/2011, 8:10 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The Academic Performance Index score for Los Angeles Unified schools--summarizing students' performance on a series of tests--rose by 19 points in 2010-11, besting the statewide average.

The district's score went from 709 last year to 728. The statewide API score increased by 11 points, from 767 last year to 778, according to figures released today by the California Department of Education.

The scores range from 200 to 1,000, with a performance target of 800.

According to the state, 49 percent of California schools met or exceeded the 800-point bar in 2010-11, compared to 46 percent in 2009-10.

"These scores reflect the incredible strides that are being made at so many of our schools," LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said. "Despite crippling budget cuts, teachers, administrators, parents and students are continuing their extraordinary commitment to success in the classroom."

API reflects growth in student achievement from one year to the next. It is determined by results on the California Standards Tests in English, math, history/social science and science, and the California High School Exit Exam.

"I applaud the hard work of our students, teachers, parents, school employees and administrators are doing to improve--even in the face of severe cuts to school funding," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. "At school after school, and among every significant ethnic group, California's students are performing better than ever. The failure here is in our politics, not our public schools."

Statewide, 35 percent of elementary schools, 18 percent of middle schools and 41 percent of high schools met their federal Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks, all slight declines from last year.

Under the No Child Left Behind federal law, schools must meet annual Adequate Yearly Progress targets, which increase over time, so that in 2013-14, 100 percent of students are expected to score at the proficient level or above.

The Adequate Yearly Progress measures whether a school and all its significant student subgroups met a single benchmark of achievement in a single year.

A school not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress may fall short in every category, or miss the mark narrowly by failing one of many criteria measured.

API growth is one of the elements to determine whether a school makes it over the Adequate Yearly Progress bar.