Local News

Tuesday, Oct 01 2013 06:00 AM

API scores: some up, some down

Results from the state standards Academic Performance Index released in late August revealed that three of Tehachapi's six schools met or exceeded the state target.

API is a score ranging from 200 to 1,000 that measures how well students perform on a variety of tests, including the California Standards Test and the state's high school exit exam

And the state has set 800 as the goal for all schools.

Within the Tehachapi Unified School District, Cummings Valley received the highest score of 831 and Jacobsen Middle School scored 809 -- up seven ticks from 2012.

Also, despite slipping 19 points, Golden Hills still managed a score of 804.

Jacobsen principal Paul Kaminski, the principal at Cummings Valley in 2012, said there are many reasons why CVS saw an increase in its API, including its teachers meeting regularly to discuss their instructional techniques.

He also said writing improved because of the use of the "Write from the Beginning" program and that thinking maps were used more than in the past.

"Teachers saw their students understand the curriculum more as they used more visual organizers," he said.

Kaminski also gave credit to the school's "Response to Intervention" program that was started in second and third grades as well as the "Math Mastery" program started in January to assist the students in mastering their math facts at each grade level.

As for JMS, Kaminski said he believes the school's increased score is due in part to its incredibly talented teachers, high expectations and interventions used for struggling students.

"All of the staff is committed to making middle school a positive experience," he said.

Meanwhile, the district along with its three remaining schools dipped below the state set target.

Tehachapi High School (782) and Tompkins Elementary (795) dipped nine points from 2012, while Monroe High school showed the highest drop of 26 points, falling from 590 to 564.

However, Tehachapi schools still weighed in above the statewide average of 789 with 795.

Traci Minjares, Chief Administrator of Instructional Services and Technology for the district said she is confident that all three of the failing schools and the district are within reach of attaining the 800 score.

"We will continue to work on our strengths and identify the areas that need to be strengthened, " she said. "So that all sites reach and exceed the 800 score."

Finally, while the district did not meet the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO's) of 89-percent for English-Language Arts and 89.1-percent for mathematics set by the federal legislation that calls for 100 percent of students to meet academic standards by 2014, it did met API criteria as a district.

Another area the district met its AYP goals, was the number of Tehachapi High School graduates, which came in at 82.55 percent of its students graduating in 2012-13.

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