Nine schools in Santa Ana being left behind

The O.C. Register reported today that nine schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) are “on the bubble for entering into or remaining under the toughest level of sanctions under No Child Left Behind.”

“In August, when this year’s standardized test scores are released, these schools will learn whether changes in the way they have taught, led and measured achievement will help them escape the heaviest federal sanctions.”

Under the law, “these schools restructured and changed leadership in 2006-07 because they missed the same test-score goals in five or more consecutive years.”

“These schools have struggled with English scores for English learners, and some have trouble with all subjects for all students.”

There are 13 schools in trouble in Orange County – nine are in SAUSD and “the other four are in Westminster, Anaheim, Fullerton and Orange.”

“No Child Left Behind calls for schools that fail testing targets to face sanctions including requirements that they allow students to transfer to schools that perform better, free tutoring for all students and in extreme and rare cases, state or county takeovers of schools.”

“In the Santa Ana Unified School District, officials recently introduced a five-year restructuring plan to help their schools meet test goals.

Kindergarteners who start to fall behind go into the school’s primary academy. Instead of a half-day, they stay all day.”

And here is the quote of the day: “Schools have to constantly chase a moving target,” Santa Ana Unified spokeswoman Angela Burrell said. “As soon as you reach last year’s goal, you are already behind for next year.”

So why not try to exceed the goal every year instead of just trying to meet it?

“Districts may convert schools that fail for five or more years into charter schools and can also request a state takeover. California hasn’t taken over any schools, and only three or four in the state have become charters.”

Parents and community leaders in Santa Ana need to look at the charter option now – and we need to clear out the SAUSD board and remove Superintendent Jane Russo and her crooked administrators. State takeover is looming…we need to get serious about improving our troubled schools NOW!


SAUSD School Board Trustee John Palacio called to remind me that there are a total of 27 schools facing sanctions. He also sent me more information about this via email:

Orange County Schools Facing Year 5 Sanctions

School District / School

Anaheim City School District:
Key Elementary

Fullerton School District:
Richman Elementary

Orange Unified School District:
Portola Middle

Santa Ana Unified School District:
Valley High
Edison Elementary
Hoover Elementary
Sierra Intermediate
McFadden Intermediate
Franklin Elementary
Garfield Elementary
Century High
Carr intermediate

Westminster School District:
Johnson Middle

Federal sanctions

Only public schools that receive federal funding for low-income students are subject to the following sanctions, which vary depending on how many consecutive years the schools have failed No Child Left Behind testing goals.

Year 1: Parents and guardians may send their children to passing schools in the district and receive transportation at school-district expense.

Orange County Year 1 schools: 41

Year 2: Supplemental services such as tutoring available for all eligible students.

Orange County Year 2 schools: 10

Year 3: School district provides corrective action to improve the school.

Orange County Year 3 schools: 27

Year 4: School must develop a new alternative-governance plan, including plans to change campus leadership.

Orange County Year 4 schools: 14

Year 5: School must implement alternative-governance plan. A new principal and assistant principals can replace current leadership. The state may take over these schools, or campuses can be converted into charter schools.

Orange County Year 5 schools: 13

Result dates

Aug. 15: Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, results. These are scores for tests in English, math and other core subjects taken by students in grades 2-11.

Aug. 23: California High School Exit Exam. High school students from the Class of 2008 through the Class of 2010 must pass the test to receive diplomas.

Aug. 31: Academic Performance Index. A composite of test scores including STAR and exit-exam results that the state uses to measure school performance.

Aug. 31: Adequate Yearly Progress. These are No Child Left Behind scores that determine whether schools have met federal goals for achievement. The Academic Performance Index, STAR results, exit-exam scores and other data, including graduations rates, determine whether schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.