Los Angeles— The good news keeps getting better, academically, for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). District-wide, students continue to progress—earning double digit gains on the Academic Performance Index (API), for the fifth straight year. The 2012 score jumped 16 points, outpacing the state average again, based on results released today by the California Department of Education (CDE), and posting the highest gain among urban school districts. The overall score of 745 indicates broad rather than isolated growth in student achievement.
“We are proud of these results,” said Board President Mónica García. “We affirm the focus on teaching and learning in the LAUSD, and continue to challenge ourselves to support and strengthen our efforts to reach all students. We have more work to do.”
Superintendent John Deasy said, “Our students continue to improve, and not by just a point or two, or at a school or two, but throughout the District, and at an accelerated pace. The notable gain of 16 points indicates in spite of five years of brutal budget cuts, 10,000 layoffs, larger class sizes, and a shortened school year, teachers continue to focus on instruction, learning and our goals.”
“Congratulations to all students and staff,” he added, “especially to those at five schools with outstanding gains of 65 points or more in a single year.” They are: Burbank Middle School, 100 points; Jordan Senior High School, 93 points; Sharp Elementary School; 67 points; Roosevelt High School ESP; 67 points and LA High School of the Arts at RFK, 65 points.
The API charts the progress of public school students in California, and is based on the California Standards Tests (CST) in English language arts and mathematics in grades 2-11; science and history-social science in selected grades; the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) for tenth graders and passing scores for eleventh-and-twelfth graders and other assessments. The state target is 800 points, and for 2012, the number of LAUSD schools earning or exceeding that coveted goal climbed by 37 percent.
In fact, more than 250 LAUSD schools attained API scores of 800 or above in 2012, with the majority of them at the elementary level; fifteen middle schools hit that mark or higher and six high schools did too. Indicating a narrowing of the achievement gap between white, Asian, affluent and other students, API scores increased in all major subgroups except American Indian or Alaska Native students, who number fewer than 1,400 in a District with an enrollment of more than 640,000. Notably, African American students increased by 17 points, Latino students increased by 16 points, English learners increased by 13 points. Meanwhile, students with disabilities increased by 26 points compared to 14 points statewide.
LAUSD students made double-digit increases in proficiency in both English language arts and mathematics. This year, student scores rose 11 percent in English language arts, from 45 percent to 56 percent compared to 2009; and in mathematics jumped from 45.5 percent to 56.4 percent, a 10.9 percent gain over the previously year.
Of all schools with API targets and scores, 56 percent met all API targets, both school-wide and for significant subgroups. Again, progress continues to be strongest among younger students: 62 percent of elementary schools met all targets; as did 43 percent of middle schools and 37 percent of high schools.
Proud of these accomplishments, Superintendent Deasy praised the entire LAUSD family. “Our students, our parents and guardians – all employees at schools and elsewhere—teachers, principals, library aides, electricians, clerks, analysts, building and grounds workers, cafeteria workers and support staff share in this success. Together, we are LAUSD and throughout this District our students are achieving and excelling.”
Due to testing irregularities, Short Avenue Elementary School and Capistrano Elementary School did not receive a 2012 API Growth score.