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Academic Achievement

Spring Test Result Are Coming!

We have started to receive electronic data on testing from the spring, and we should receive copies of the student score reports by the end of September to mail out to parents/guardians. The state website is now  live and if you are interested in looking at some general data for the state, the district, and specific schools, you may access the site by clicking here.

Please remember, these are new exams and are based on California’s new, more challenging academic standards, which are designed to help all students graduate ready for college and to pursue a career.  Tests your student took include a wider variety of questions than the multiple-choice tests they replaced, requiring students to explain how they solve problems, think critically, and write analytically. These skills take time and effort to master, but our students will need them to succeed in the long run.

Lowell Joint School District staff see these tests as an academic checkup.  Like class assignments and report cards, they are one gauge of student progress–one way to provide you and your child’s teachers with information about your child’s work toward the high goals we have set for our students.

Our schools are still adjusting to these new standards and the tests that go with them. We know that many if not most students will need to make significant progress to reach the challenging new goals we have set. That’s why no student or parent should be discouraged by test results, which will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade.

Like the new learning goals they were designed to measure, these new tests are much too different from the old exams to make any comparisons between old scores and new. That’s why this year’s scores are better thought of as a starting point–a baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time.

Score reports will be reviewed during parent conferences scheduled for the fall. Stay tuned for additional parent resources and information that we will continue to make available as scores are released. 

Academic Performance Index

What is the Academic Performance Index (API)?
The API is a single number, ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, which reflects a school’s or a district’s performance level, based on the results of statewide testing. Its purpose is to measure the academic performance and growth of schools. The goal for all schools and districts is to achieve an 800 API score. The API was established by a state law passed in 1999 that created a new academic accountability system for K-12 public education in California.
The API is calculated by converting a student’s performance on statewide assessments across multiple content areas into points on the API scale. These points are then averaged across all students and all tests. The result is the API.
The key features of the API include the following:
• The API is based on an improvement model. The API from one year is compared to the API from the prior year to measure improvement.
• The API is a cross-sectional look at student achievement. It does not track individual student progress across years but rather compares snapshots of school or district level achievement results from one year to the next.
• The API is used to rank schools. A school is compared to other schools statewide and to 100 other schools that have similar opportunities and challenges.
• The API is currently a school-based requirement only under state law. However, API reports are provided for school districts in order to meet federal requirements.
2011 Growth Academic Performance Index:

Lowell Joint School District  863                                                                                            
El Portal Elementary School 874
Jordan Elementary School 823
Macy Elementary School 907
Meadow Green Elementary School 900
Olita Elementary School 854
Rancho-Starbuck Intermediate School 846


Additional information about the Academic Performance Index may be found on the California Department of Education website at www.cde.ca.gov.