SACRAMENTO -- Two dozen public schools in the East Bay ranked high compared with similar schools statewide, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Education, while 52 schools were ranked at the bottom of the list.
The latest round of public school rankings are based on how well students performed on standardized tests they took more than a year ago. Schools are compared with others according to an annual composite score known as the Academic Performance Index, or API, which is based on standardized tests. Schools are ranked one to 10, with 10 being the highest.
The state scores released Friday may vary slightly from 2012 API scores released last year, due to updated data. Friday's rankings are considered "base" scores. They will be compared with 2013 scores that are expected to be released at the end of the summer, reflecting the results of tests taken earlier this month. The API scores range from 200 to 1,000, with a target of 800 signifying student proficiency.
The rankings divide all schools in the state evenly, with schools in the bottom 10 percent scoring 1 and schools in the top 10 percent scoring 10. The state also released "similar schools" rankings, which compared 100 schools based on similar demographics and challenges. Schools that ranked a 10 in this category are considered to be doing very well educating students in all subgroups including low-income and English learners.
In the East Bay, 24 schools scored 10 in both categories, while 52 scored 1 in both rankings.
Eleven of the top schools were in Alameda County. They were: Oxford Elementary in the Berkeley district; Mission San Jose High, James Leitch Elementary, William Hopkins Junior High, John Gomes Elementary and Mission San Jose Elementary in the Fremont district; and American Indian Public High, American Indian Public Charter School II, Oakland Charter High, Lincoln Elementary and American Indian Public Charter in the Oakland district.
Thirteen Contra Costa County schools earned double 10s. They were: Miramonte High in the Acalanes district; Camino Pablo and Donald L. Rheem elementary schools in the Moraga district; Del Rey, Glorietta, Sleepy Hollow and Wagner Ranch elementary schools in the Orinda district; Windemere Ranch and Kensington elementary schools, Los Cerros and Windemere Ranch middle schools, and Dougherty Valley High School in the San Ramon Valley district; and Kensington Elementary in the West Contra Costa district.
"We pride ourselves on being a destination school district," said San Ramon Valley district spokesman Terry Koehne. "Our parent community is a huge aspect of our success."
Forty of the bottom-ranked schools were in Alameda County compared with 12 in Contra Costa County.
The lowest-scoring Alameda County schools included one in the Alameda City district, eight in the Hayward district, 30 in the Oakland district and one in the San Lorenzo district. Bottom-scoring Contra Costa County schools included two in the Mt. Diablo district and 10 in the West Contra Costa district.
Under the state's current accountability system, schools with API scores below 800 are supposed to meet growth targets the following year. However, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has recommended that many of the current state tests be suspended next year, so school districts can transition to new Common Core Curriculum Standards, which will require new tests starting in 2014-15.
Base Academic Performance Index, or API, scores and school ranks are available by visiting http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest. Choose "Academic Performance Index" and then "Base API Report."
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