DOWNEY - Downey Unified School District's API score of 801 not only topped the statewide API (Academic Performance Index) average score of 788 in tests conducted last spring but those of every other bordering district.The scores were announced recently by the California Department of Education, which expressed its satisfaction at the fact that, for the first time since the testing program began in 1999, a majority of schools reached or exceeded the state's target of 800 on the index. The state agency said that 53 percent of all schools scored above the 800 mark. In this group are 59 percent of all elementary schools, and 49 percent of all middle schools. Only 30 percent of high schools, however, hit the target. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson was quoted as saying that while the improvement in scores was "noteworthy" despite the budget cuts, "there's still work to do." Here are the scores of other neighboring school districts: Bellflower Unified, 789; Norwalk-La Mirada Unified, 774; Paramount Unified, 765; Los Angeles Unified, 745; and Montebello Unified, 724. Selected high school performances were: La Serna High (Whittier), 839; Santa Fe High (Whittier), 809; Downey High, 794; Mayfair High (Bellflower), 788; Warren High, 787; La Mirada High (Norwalk-La Mirada), 782; Bellflower High, 770; Montebello High, 687; John Glenn High (Norwalk), 686; and Norwalk High, 686. The low score of the high schools has educators puzzled. Some have suggested that high school students have no incentive to do well in the tests since they have no bearing on a student's grades, graduation or college applications. "If we found a way to tie these test scores to something meaningful, like high school graduation or promotion from middle school, I would predict a massive increase in the scores at the middle and high school levels," said DUSD board member Donald LaPlante.
********** Published: October 25, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 28