The Academic Performance Index (API)—the basis of California’s Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999 which measures the academic performance and growth of schools on a variety of academic measures—showed significant progress in most Berkeley public schools in 2006 with the exception of Berkeley High School.
Berkeley High did not receive an API score in 2006, an incident BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan attributed to the school’s not reaching the 95 percent participation rate for the California Standardized Test (CST). He said many high school students opted out of taking the tests, which left the school without an API rating.
B-Tech—formerly Berkeley Alter-native High School—showed significant progress with scores rising from 372 to 532.
Berkeley Arts Magnet (BAM) elementary school exceeded its state API target growth of two points and achieved an API score of 774, meeting targets school-wide and for numerically significant groups.
Scores for 2004-2005 confirm a decline for African-American students during that year, and the 2006 improvement only returns African-American students to previous 2004 levels.
Despite meeting API targets, BAM ranks below average and records a decline since 2003 when compared to 100 similar California schools. The situation was described as “troubling” in a report presented to BUSD by the school authorities.
The API scores for Cragmont Elementary School has grown from 607 in 1999 to 808 in 2006, representing a 32 percent increase since the base year.
According to the state of California, 800 is “excellent” performance on the Standardized Testing and Reporting Results (STAR).
The achievement gap on the API between white and Latino students at Cragmont has narrowed, but there has been a slight increase in the gap between white and African-American students.
Emerson Elementary School is slightly below an 800 on the API with between 70 percent to 80 percent of white and mixed race students scoring at proficient levels.
African-American students at Emerson are still performing significantly below other subgroups with a recent API of 663.
Jefferson Elementary School showed a drop in similar school rank for the API but gained 24 points from 2005 to 2006.
The performance gap between white and African-American students at Jefferson was evident, with white students scoring 967 and African-American students scoring 633.
Rosa Parks Elementary School has made consistent growth on the state API for the past four years. The score for 2006 is 741.
At Washington Elementary School, the 2005-2006 API scores for white and African-American students were 871 and 661 respectively.
Longfellow Middle School made significant growth in the 2005-2006 school year with an API score of 722. All subgroups at Longfellow improved during the 2005-2006 school year with African Americans and Latinos recording a growth of 15 and 21 points, respectively.
Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s overall performance on the API has increased for the past four years.
However, the school is in “Program Improvement” status for the third row in a year.
The school attributes this to the gap in achievement test results between “student subgroups differentiated by socio-economic status and ethnicity.”