Thursday, August 31, 2006
New Haven Unified School District
UNION CITY - New Haven Unified School District students made solid gains - and in some cases very impressive gains - on the Academic Performance Index (API) and remained well above state standards for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) according to reports released today on tests taken during the 2005-2006 school year.
The API and AYP data are part of the 2006 Accountability Progress Reports (APR). The results come from STAR (Standardized Testing and Results) scores and from the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
For the second consecutive year, the District's overall API score rose 12 points, to 754, well above the state average of 720. Nine of the District's 13 schools showed API growth, including a hefty 42-point jump at Alvarado Elementary, from 759 to 801, and an impressive 28-point gain at Kitayama Elementary, from 797 to 825.
"Four of our eight elementary schools are now scoring above the state target of 800," Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi pointed out, noting that Alvarado and Kitayama have joined Eastin (876) and Pioneer (833) in the "800 Club."
James Logan High School also showed significant improvement, recording a 28-point jump, from 703 to 731. Cabello Elementary improved by 11 points, to 759, Searles Elementary by seven points, to 755, and Cesar Chavez Middle by six points, to 770.
"This is a starting point for what I hope will be double-digit gains every year at all of our schools," said Carnell Edwards, Associate Superintendent for Education Services. "That's an ambitious goal, but if we give our teachers the support to do what we're asking them to do, it's an achievable goal."
The AYP results released today show that 50.1 percent of District students were proficient in English/language arts, up from 46.8 percent last year, and 53.1 percent were proficient in mathematics, up from 49.7 percent. The District remains well above the statewide averages of 44.9 percent in English/language arts and 48.1 percent in math.
"We're making progress with our AYP numbers," Dr. Jaurequi said, "but it's important to remember that when our community got together last year to put together a Strategic Plan, our students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members established a goal of 85 percent proficiency by 2010.
"We obviously have a long way to go," she continued, "and in the face of declining enrollment, as we receive fewer attendance dollars from the state, we must continue our effort to redirect financial resources to learning."
Although all New Haven schools met their AYP goals, a District review indicates that one subgroup at Cabello Elementary (African American students in English/language arts), one subgroup at Hillview Crest Elementary (socio-economically disadvantaged students in English/language arts) and three subgroups at Barnard-White Middle (Hispanic and socio-economically disadvantaged students in math and English Learners in both English/language arts and math) narrowly missed their growth targets.
"In some cases, the difference came down to 3-4 students," said Craig Boyan, Director of Assessment and Evaluation. "What it means though, unfortunately, is that because Cabello, Hillview Crest and Barnard-White all receive federal Title I funds for educationally disadvantaged students, all three schools will be identified as 'Program Improvement` schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act."
This is the second consecutive year that Barnard-White subgroups have narrowly missed targets, and Barnard-White parents again this year will have the option of having their children attend another District middle school. Similarly, Cabello and Hillview Crest parents will have the option of having their children attend another District elementary school.
Associate Superintendent Edwards pointed out that New Haven's lower-performing subgroups generally are scoring higher than corresponding subgroups in the rest of the state, and Hispanic students, English Learners and students with disabilities, made greater gains than the District as a whole.
"That shows that while the scores from our subgroups aren't as high as we want them to be, we are making some progress in closing the achievement gap," he said.