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Educational Services » Academic Achievement

Academic Achievement

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


El Portal Elementary School


Jordan Elementary School


Macy Elementary School


Meadow Green Elementary School


Olita Elementary School


Rancho-Starbuck Intermediate School



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