May 5, 2011
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Releases Academic
Performance Ranks, 2010 Base API for California Public Schools
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today released the 2010 Base Academic Performance Index (API) and the public school ranks, marking the start of California's annual reporting cycle of academic growth and achievement.
"Today signifies the beginning of a new reporting cycle of testing and reporting under the API, which gives us one measure of school's academic performance. This is the jumping-off point where, based on last year's testing results, schools are given a number of points by which they must grow in order to satisfy the requirements of our state accountability system," said Torlakson.
"We are also providing information on where our schools stand when compared to those statewide and to those that are similar demographically," he said. "This is constructive information that provides parents, schools, educators, and the general public valuable insight into how schools are performing when measured against others."
The 2010 Base API reports, school rankings, and growth targets, are posted on the CDE Academic Performance Index Web page at: Academic Performance Index (API).
A school's statewide rank is based on the school's Base API and is calculated separately for three types of schools: elementary, middle, and high schools. Ranks are established by deciles. Each decile contains 10 percent of all schools of each type.
It is important to note that there will always be schools ranked 1 and schools ranked 10 because of the nature of the decile system. Ten percent of schools will always be in each decile.
The similar schools rank is similar to the statewide rank, except that each school is ranked relative to a group of 100 schools determined to be similar to the comparison school based on certain school, student, and teacher characteristics. The school's similar schools rank is the decile where that school's Base API falls compared with the Base APIs of the 100 other similar schools in the comparison group.
The release of the 2010 Base API denotes the beginning of the API reporting cycle. The Base API Report released today includes the Base API, growth targets, and school ranks. The Growth API Report, which will be released in early fall, includes the Growth API, growth achieved, and whether or not targets were met. It is the second of these two reports that determines whether a school met or exceeded its growth target and whether it may be identified for participation in state intervention programs designed to help a school improve its academic performance.
The Base API, including all new indicators and methodological changes, is merely the baseline against which to compare the next year's Growth API. The Base API is calculated using the test results of the previous year, thus this is the 2010 Base API, and the Growth API is calculated using the test results of the current year, and it will be the 2011 Growth API.
For more information on the API, please refer to the 2010-11 Academic Performance Index Reports Information Guide at: Academic Performance Index (API).
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100