By Rick La Plante, New Haven Schools Public Information Officer
Scores measuring student performance improved by more than 30 points at both Kitayama and Emanuele elementary schools, and gains by Hispanic students in the New Haven Unified School District more than doubled those of the District as a whole, according to Academic Performance Index (API) results released today by the California Department of Education.
More information is available on the California Department of Education website.
Pioneer and Alvarado elementary schools also recorded double-digit gains on the API, a score between 200 and 1,000 assigned to all schools and districts in the state, based on the results of standardized tests taken each spring. A minimum score of 650 is required to meet federal accountability guidelines, and the state’s goal is 800.
Kitayama improved its score by 35 points, to 840, and Emanuele improved by 33 points, to 771. Pioneer improved by 23 points, to 854, and Alvarado improved by 12 points, to 826.
Four of the District’s seven elementary schools exceed the 800 goal, led by Eastin, which jumped 4 points, to 879. The “800 Club” also includes Alvarado Middle School, which improved 3 points, to 826.
There also was impressive growth at Conley-Caraballo High School, where API grew 34 points, to 577. Conley-Caraballo is evaluated through an alternative process because it is a continuation school.
As a whole, New Haven Unified improved by 5 points, to 773. Among “sub-groups.” Scores for Hispanic students jumped 11 points.
“The improvement by Hispanic students is evidence, I hope, that we’ve begun making progress toward closing the achievement gap,” said Superintendent Kari McVeigh, referring to the nation-wide disparity between groups of students, especially as defined by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Among other sub-groups, students with disabilities improved by 14 points, English Learners by 5 points and African Americans by 2 points.
Ms. McVeigh said she is “enormously proud” of the gains made at the elementary level - especially at Kitayama, Emanuele, Pioneer and Alvarado - and at Conley-Caraballo.
“Across the District, our scores are more evidence that we’re doing the right work by focusing on literacy,” she said. “Our teachers are excited about the work, our administrators and classified employees are providing excellent support, parents are engaged, and our students, obviously, are working very hard.”
District-wide, the percentage of students who are proficient or advanced increased to 56.9 percent in English/language arts (up from 53.1 percent last year) and 55.8 percent in mathematics (up from 51.5). Part of the increase may be due to new tests for special education students at middle schools, Director of Assessment & Evaluation Craig Boyan acknowledged.
Scores dropped slightly, by 3 points, at both Searles Elementary (760) and James Logan High (731). Hillview Crest Elementary lost 13 points to 752, “but that’s a special case,” Chief Academic Officer Wendy Gudalewicz said, pointing out that Hillview Crest experienced a remarkable 71-point gain last year.
“It isn’t rare for schools that achieve the kind of gains that Hillview Crest had last year to lose a bit the following year. Overall, there’s good progress being made at Hillview Crest, and scores are far ahead of where they were two years ago,” Ms. Gudalewicz said.
However, the loss at Hillview Crest means the school will remain in “program improvement,” according to the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report also released today.
Under state and federal guidelines, Cesar Chavez Middle School is immune from API provisions this year, because of the significant demographic changes that occurred at the school following the June 2008 closure of Barnard-White Middle. Cesar Chavez’s score, 749, represents a new baseline.
API scores by site: Alvarado Elementary 826, Eastin Elementary 879, Emanuele Elementary 771, Hillview Crest Elementary 752, Kitayama Elementary 840, Pioneer Elementary 854, Searles Elementary 760; Alvarado Middle 826; Cesar Chavez Middle 749*; James Logan High 731, Conley-Caraballo High 577.
(* - new baseline score).