New API scores are mostly bad news for SAUSD

The new State Academic Performance Index (API) numbers are out, in today’s O.C. Register. The news is generally not good over at the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). Overall, “Nearly 80 percent of Orange County’s public schools met all testing goals required by the federal No Child Left Behind act, figures released Friday reveal.”

But in Santa Ana, only 19 out of 60 schools showed adequate yearly progress. Of those 19 schools, five are fundamental schools, one is a charter, and one is the O.C. High School for the Arts, which barely enrolls any Santa Ana students. Most of their students come from elsewhere.

The Register reported that “The state’s median score is 740; in Orange County, the median score was 794.” In Santa Ana, 49 schools are below the state median score, and 53 schools are below the Orange County median score. Doesn’t sound very good, does it?

Of course, the SAUSD put a different spin on things. “SAUSD’s API, now at 669 points, outperforms the growth of the County and State. SAUSD scores showed the District achieved a 15-point growth in 2006, as compared to the County’s 1-point growth and the State’s 6-point growth. Seventy-eight percent of SAUSD schools made growth on API, as compared to 67% of schools statewide. Fifty-one percent of SAUSD schools made the state growth target on API, as compared to 45% statewide.”

Let’s put aside the SAUSD spin and look at the REAL numbers. The API index is below 700 in 40 Santa Ana schools. A year ago it was below 700 in 44 schools. The API numbers WORSENED in 16 Santa Ana schools. The API numbers fell in four fundamental schools, one charter school and six high schools. But they increased in 44 other Santa Ana schools. The increase was by a margin smaller than 20 in 18 of these schools.

Of the top 1o Orange County schools that made the most improvement in API, 7 are in Santa Ana. That is about the only good news this year.

English proficiency is below 25% at 28 Santa Ana schools. It is also below 30% in another 12 schools. Overall, English proficiency is below 50% in 50 Santa Ana schools. It is above 50% in only six schools, including the High School for the Arts. Math proficiency is below 30% in 16 Santa Ana schools. It is below 50% in 45 Santa Ana schools.

So when will the SAUSD Board President, Rob Richardson, be resigning? And will the SAUSD Superintendent, Jane Russo, resign as well? In any other school district, parents would be calling for their heads.

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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.