August 31, 2011
By Melanie C. Johnson
Walnut Valley Unified Sees Five-Point Bump in API Scores
The district grew in 2011 to 903 from 898 in 2010.
The California Department of Education released the scores Wednesday. The results show that Walnut Valley Unified schools continue to exceed the state API target of 800, with all but two of the campuses showing growth from 2010. The district as a whole grew 5 points to 903 in 2011 from 898 in 2010. The highest score possible is 1,000.
“We are very proud of our schools because we do continue to make student achievement gains,” said Jackie Brown, director of educational projects and assessment. “It’s a credit to our dedicated staff, hardworking students, and a supportive community.”
Seven of the district’s 9 elementary schools earned a score greater than 900. All are above the state target, including the district's three Title I schools, Brown said. Title 1 schools are designated based on the number of students receiving free and reduced lunches and receive federal funds to be used for professional development, intervention, and supplies, she said.
Two of the three middle schools exceed 900 as well. Walnut High grew 8 points to 887 and Diamond Bar High saw a slight bump of 2 points to 878.
Two schools saw a drop in their scores but still remain way above the state target of 800. Vejar Elementary had a 20-point drop to 895 from 915, while South Pointe Middle School scored 899, down from 907.
Brown said the scores are so high that occasional dips are inevitable.
“Each year is difficult and can fluctuate, as each of the schools are looking at individual students, grade level to see where the areas are that can be improved,” she said.
Statewide, 55 percent of elementary schools, 43 percent of middle schools and 28 percent of high schools met or bested the state API target of 800, with the proportion of campuses making the target increasing 3 percentage points from 46 percent to 49 in 2010, according to a news release.
“I applaud the hard work our students, teachers, parents, school employees and administrators are doing to improve—even in the face of severe cuts to school funding,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. “At school, after school, and among every significant ethnic group, California’s students are performing better than ever. The failure here is in our politics, not our public schools.”