This glossary defines key terms shown on the school, local educational agency (LEA), or state API Base, Ranks, and Targets section of the 2005 Academic Performance Index (API) Base Report, which is part of the 2005–06 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) system. Terms described below are listed in the order in which they appear on this section of the 2005 API Base Report.
State legislation, the Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) of 1999 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 1999), established the Academic Performance Index (API), which summarizes a school's or local educational agency's (LEA) academic performance and progress on statewide assessments. The API also is used as an additional indicator for federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements. (An LEA is a school district or county office of education.)
The reports for the state, for LEAs, and for schools in the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) do not currently have growth, target, or statewide or similar schools ranks information. Small schools with between 11 and 99 valid Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program scores do not receive similar schools ranks. Special education schools do not receive statewide or similar schools ranks.
This is the number of students with valid scores that contribute to the school's, an LEA's, or state's 2005 API Base. It is possible for a student to have test results contributing to the component score in one content area and not another. For example, if a student did not receive a test score in English-language arts (ELA), but did receive a score in mathematics, the student's mathematics results can still be included in the API score.
The 2005 API Base summarizes a school's, an LEA's, or the state's performance on the spring 2005 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program and 2005 California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). It serves as the baseline score, or starting point, of performance. The API is on a scale of 200 to 1000. It is calculated from the performance of individual students on the following tests:
- California English-Language Arts and Mathematics Standards Tests (CSTs in ELA and mathematics), grades two through eleven
- California Science Standards Test (CST in science), grades five and nine through eleven
- California History-Social Science Standards Test (CST in history-social science), grades eight, ten, and eleven
- California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) in English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities, grades two through eleven
- California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey), in reading, language, spelling, and mathematics, grades three and seven
- California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), in ELA and mathematics, grade ten (and grade eleven if students retook either part of the CAHSEE and passed that part)
In addition, APIs also are calculated for numerically significant student subgroups at a school to ascertain whether the school meets the "comparable improvement" criterion.
For details on the calculation of the 2005 API Base, please consult the 2005 Academic Performance Index Base Report Information Guide.
This item is for school reports only. On the API Base reports, schools are ranked in ten categories of equal size, called deciles, from one (lowest) to ten (highest). A school's statewide rank compares that school to other schools of the same type in the entire state. The school types are elementary, middle, and high. Each decile contains 10 percent of all schools of that type. A school's statewide rank is the decile where that school's API Base falls compared with the Base APIs of the other schools statewide of the same school type. Special education schools and schools in the ASAM do not receive statewide ranks.
This item is for school reports only. In addition to statewide ranks, schools also are ranked compared to 100 other schools with similar demographic characteristics. For the similar schools rank, schools also are ranked into deciles according to school type: elementary, middle, and high. To determine the similar schools rank for a school, a comparison group of 100 similar schools of the same type is formed for that school, based on similar demographic characteristics. The APIs for this group of 100 schools are ranked into ten categories of equal size, called deciles, from one (lowest) to ten (highest). Each decile contains 10 percent of all of the 100 similar schools in the comparison group. The school's similar schools rank is the decile where that school's API Base falls compared with the Base APIs of the 100 other similar schools in the comparison group. Special education schools, schools in the ASAM, and small schools with between 11 to 99 valid STAR Program scores do not receive similar schools ranks.
The PSAA specifies the demographic characteristics to include in similar schools ranks calculations:
- Pupil mobility
- Pupil ethnicity
- Pupil socioeconomic status
- Percentage of teachers who are fully credentialed
- Percentage of teachers who hold emergency credentials
- Percentage of pupils who are English learners
- Average class size per grade level
- Whether the schools operate multitrack year-round educational programs
The State Board of Education added the following demographic characteristics in January 2006:
- Grade span enrollments (grades two, six, seven to eight, and nine to eleven)
- Students in Gifted and Talented Education program
- Students with disabilities
- Reclassified fluent-English-proficient (RFEP) students
- Migrant education students
- Students in full-day reduced class size program
This item is for school reports only. A school's growth target is calculated by taking 5 percent of the difference between a school's 2005 API Base and the statewide performance target of 800. For any school with a 2005 API Base of 781 to 799, the annual growth target is one point. Any school with an API of 800 or more must maintain an API of at least 800. ASAM schools do not receive growth targets.
This item is for school reports only. The 2006 API target is the sum of the 2005 API Base and the 2005–06 Growth Target, except for schools with a 2005 API Base of 800 or more. Schools with an API Base of 800 or more are expected to maintain a score of 800 or more. ASAM schools do not receive API targets.
This is the number of students with valid STAR Program scores that contribute to the subgroup's 2005 API Base. It is possible for a student to have test results contributing to the component score in one content area and not another. For example, if a student did not receive a test score in ELA, but did receive a score in mathematics, the student's mathematics results can still be included in the API score.
A numerically significant subgroup for the API is defined as:
- 100 or more students with valid STAR Program scores
- 50 or more students with valid STAR Program scores who make up at least 15 percent of the total valid STAR Program scores
Ethnic/racial subgroups include:
- African American (not of Hispanic origin)
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Hispanic or Latino
- Pacific Islander
- White (not of Hispanic origin)
"Socioeconomically disadvantaged" is defined as:
- A student whose parents both have not received a high school diploma
- A student who participates in the free or reduced-price lunch program, also known as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
"English Learners" are defined as:
- English learners (ELs)
- Reclassified fluent-English-proficient (RFEP) students who have not scored at the proficient level or above on the CST in ELA for three years
A "student with disabilities" is defined as a student who receives special education services and has a valid disability code on the student answer document.
These data are based on the results of the 2005 spring STAR Program administration student answer document. The definitions for the two new subgroups, English learners and students with disabilities, match the definitions used in AYP calculations.
A student who is a member of the socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learner, and/or disability subgroup is also a member of one of the racial/ethnic subgroups. Therefore, it is possible that the total percentage of students in all numerically significant subgroups at a school, LEA, or the state may exceed 100.
The 2005 API Base summarizes a subgroup's performance on the spring 2005 STAR Program and 2005 CAHSEE. It serves as the baseline score, or starting point, of performance of that subgroup.
This item is for school reports only. By regulation, "comparable improvement" requires that each numerically significant subgroup must meet or exceed 80 percent of the 2005–06 schoolwide growth target. The 2005–06 subgroup target is calculated by first multiplying the schoolwide target by 0.8 and then rounding the product to the nearest whole number. There are four minor exceptions to this rule:
- For subgroups within schools with schoolwide APIs between 790 and 799 (i.e., approaching the statewide interim performance target of 800), the annual growth target is one point.
- Regardless of the schoolwide API, subgroups already at or above 800 must continue to meet the statewide performance target of 800.
- In schools with 2005 APIs of 800 or more, subgroups with an API of less than 800 must make growth of at least one point.
- In instances where 80 percent of the schoolwide target results in a subgroup target that would exceed the distance from the subgroup API to 800, the subgroup target equals the distance to 800.
This item is for school reports only. The subgroup 2006 API target is the sum of its 2005 API Base and its 2005–06 Growth Target, except for subgroups with a 2005 API Base of 800 or more.