API scores bring request for
by Bret Bradigan
Academic Performance Index scores from Ojai Unified School
District showed declines at every school except Mira Monte Elementary,
but district officials aren't buying it.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Tim
Baird said he requested a review by the state Department of Education,
pointing out several discrepancies in the scores. (See chart
on Page A-3).
"Our schools have always tested well," Baird said.
"This took us by surprise."
Discrepancies between the number of students tested and special
education students points to one factor. Specifically, the district
sees evidence that between 30 and 50 special education students
at Nordhoff High School took the test without allowed accommodations:
"Out of 800 students, that's fairly significant,"
he said. Another factor was
the mobility exclusion for students who moved into the district
that year; Baird believes many of those students were also tested.
"We think there's a data error," Baird said. "We
tested more special ed students than we ever have in the history
of the district."
API scores are assembled from a variety of other tests, including
the California Continuing Standards Test taken in May, as well
as the Stanford 9. "It's somewhat of a ludicrous concept,
but it makes it easier to come up with a number to compare with
Schools which exceed their API goals receive bonuses, while schools
that consistently fail to meet goals face sanctions, including
takeover by the state. In Ventura County, 63 percent of elementary
schools and 43 percent of middle schools and high schools met
"We had no major changes in curriculum, and took the same
tests," he said. "This just kind of came out of the
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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