SPESD reports estimated accountability progress

September 21, 2012
Santa Paula News

The annual Accountability Performance Index (API) and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report are due out from the state next month for schools across the state.

The Santa Paula Elementary School District uses a private company to estimate the State API and Federal AYP results. 

The API measures how many children go from not being proficient to being proficient. A district gains points on how many children improve.  

The AYP is a fixed target. And the goal of AYP through No Child Left Behind is that by 2013-14 all children will be proficient.  

The estimated API results shows all SPESD schools met growth targets except Glen City School. However, four Santa Paula schools remain under Program Improvement (PI) status. The district is in year four of PI status.  

The four schools are: Isbell Middle School (year five), Blanchard Elementary (year two), Glen City (year two) and McKevett (year two). Bedell, Grace Thille and Barbara Webster Schools are out of Program Improvement.  

Robin Freeman, assistant superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Assessment said when a district gets to year three of Program Improvement they have to develop a three-year action plan. “At the school level at year four you write a restructuring plan that kicks into gear in year five,” she said.  

“That’s what we have in place at Isbell and we’re really working hard with our English learners because those English learners are part of several different demographic sub-groups. We believe that if we can improve their language fluency they’ll do better in all the core academic areas. That’s our strategy for Isbell and the district as well.”

The Academic Performance Index is the cornerstone of California’s Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999. The API is an important part of the federal measure of Adequate Yearly Progress because it shows academic growth over time. The API is a numeric index between 200-1000 that reflects a school’s performance on tests in the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program and the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). 

AYP is the measuring stick of the current federal accountability system passed as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This act required schools or LEAs that receive Title 1 funds to be identified for Program Improvement if they do not meet their AYP targets for two consecutive years.

AYP targets increase automatically each year and it is becoming more difficult for schools and districts to meet these measures. By 2014, 100% of students are expected to perform at the proficient or advanced level on all state tests.

The estimated numbers for 2012 show that four Santa Paula schools will meet AYP criteria for English Language Arts and two meet Math criteria.

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