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See How PUSD Schools Rank in Latest State Figures

The California Department of Education released revised API base scores, statewide ranking and similar schools rankings figures for all schools in California last week. All the PUSD scores are listed below.

The California Department of Education released new data on school performances last week, including the 2011 Base Academic Performance Index and two metrics designed to rank schools based on the similiarties to others in the state.

The API is a number between 200 and 1000 that reflects performance level of a school, sub group and district, based on statewide testing. Its purpose is to measure the academic performance and growth of schools. The state target is 800.

As a whole, Pasadena Unified School District students scored 758, below the state target.

The figures released Tuesday are slight revisions of .  They are shown below under '2011 Base API' and will be used to set goals for next year's test scores.  Though according to a report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune some districts showed significant differences in the revised figures, PUSD's districtwide number did not change.

The second figure below is the statewide rank, which compares schools on their academic performance, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest mark.  The mark refers to the percentage of like schools the school surpassed, so a '9' for example, would mean the school that received that score surpassed at least 80 percent of other schools.

The similar schools rank is similar, but uses demographic information such as race, percent of low-income and percent of English language learners to sort out the schools.

Among Altadena schools, Altadena Elementary had the best rank on the 'similar schools' metric and Aveson School of Leaders had the worst.  Altadena and Aveson tied for the best ranking in the 'statewide rank' category while Franklin, the now-defunct Loma Alta Elementary, Jackson Elementary and Charles Eliot Middle School all scored the worst, at '2.'  

The score for the all of the district's schools are listed below.

Elementary Schools 2011 Base API Statewide Rank Similar Schools Rank   Altadena Elementary 818 6 9   Aveson School of Leaders 816 6 1   Burbank Elementary 789 4 5   Cleveland Elementary 769 3 7   Daniel Webster 866 8 10   Don Benito Fundamental 895 9 6   Field (Eugene) Elementary 810 6 3   Franklin Elementary 748 2 3   Hamilton Elementary 865 8 8   Jackson Elementary 737 2 3   Jefferson Elementary 727 2 1   Loma Alta Elementary 746 2 2   Longfellow (Henry W.) Elementary 847 7 9   Madison Elementary 734 2 4   McKinley 827 6 4   Norma Coombs Alternative 853 7 9   Roosevelt Elementary 888 9 10   San Rafael Elementary 745 2 1   Sierra Madre Elementary 908 9 5   Washington Accelerated Elementary 761 3 7   Willard Elementary 863 8 10 Middle Schools 2011 Base API Statewide Rank Similar Schools Rank   Aveson Global Leadership Academy 741 4 2   Charles W. Eliot Middle 692 2 3   Washington Middle 667 1 2   Woodrow Wilson Middle 718 3 1 High Schools 2011 Base API Statewide Rank Similar Schools Rank   Blair High 716 4 6   John Muir High 646 2 7   Marshall Fundamental 763 6 4   Pasadena High 757 6 6

Editor's note: The original version of this story said that schools were compared based on their size for the 'statewide rank' figure.  In addition, the article said a score of 9 would mean a school is better than 90 percent of other schools - the correct figure is 80 percent.

pasadenamom August 10, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Hi Adam, Your ability to understand the s.s. ranking 1 to 10 score is rare, valuable, and an asset to the post. However, to the untrained parent looking for a school, all they see is that the school got a ? out of 10. Look no further, and done. Hundreds of Pasadena parents will never go to a supplemental chart, a further explanation of data, or lookup stats on a similar school in northern CA to try to truly understand what the s.s. rank number means. 10 must be good, and 1 must be horrible. In an internet world full or ratings and rankings, a number based on data alone which doesn’t actually tell you anything about how you or others might like the school is just not useful. The idea behind the similar schools rank is valid in theory ONLY. By design, schools in bad neighborhoods with problems and issues still get 9s and 10’s and schools with a lot to offer are compared to schools with even more to offer (say the Poway or Marin school district) and so some of those great schools must therefore get a 1 or a 3. An example of the weirdness: the demographics for one 10 on the list shows that they have 96% socioeconomic disadvantaged student body, and more than half (53%) are English learners, with almost 1/3 of the school having disabilities. How is a middle of the road kid going to get any teacher time at all at this school that got a 10? I reiterate my point –the similar school rank is a confusing number for parents trying to find a school.
navigio August 10, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Yep, makes sense. Class size info is a bit problematic. Every school is required to report class size on their SARC. There a few problems with that: - the data is usually at least one year old, and sometimes two - class sizes are grouped by less, than 21, between 22 and 32, and over 32. Which means a class size of 22 will look the same on the SARC as one of 32. Pretty stupid of the state to require it this way, but alas, Sacramento is not the best at these things.. If you're interested, all the SARCs are hosted here: http://www.axiomadvisors.net/liveSARC/Presentation/SARCIndex.aspx?DistrictID=1964881 Charters will have their SARCs on their home page. If your wife picked up the district parent handbook, that may include them as well. Technically, there is a district wide policy on class sizes. It used to be 27:1 for K-3 and 30:1 for 4,5. But this was raised due to the budget cuts this year. According to the district budget documents, the ratios currently are: K: 30:1 1: 31:1 2-3: 31.25:1 4-6: 32.75:1 6-8: 29.5:1 9-12: 29.75:1
navigio August 10, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Note that these are only the levels at which teachers are staffed. If the number of students is not a multiple of one of those numbers, either your class will be slightly larger or slightly smaller, give or take. One of the disadvantages of OE is that parents can technically choose to move schools literally on the first day of classes. This presents signficantly more challenges in getting the ratios exactly right the first time. btw, on that SARC page, click the school and it will give you a choice of languages. Choose your language and that will open a page that has the available years of SARCs listed to a menu on the left column of the page.
pasadenamom August 10, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Hi Karen, re: "still true?" No, I wouldn't say that's the case at all now. I wasn't at Aveson in the early years, but I know they have survived their early growing pains and the teacher interaction is currently fabulous. Re: Open enrollment, I agree with you and Navigio –I think all the options and info make us parents a little neurotic at times. Even parents who are happy with their school wonder if they should be somewhere else, or learning Mandarin and/or already worry about the next step (middle or high school choices) Gone are the days when you just walked up the street with your neighbors. At least for our family and anyone I know here in Pasadena, that’s not the reality.
navigio August 10, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Actually, most parents dont look at similar schools ranks because they dont know what it is and its rarely reported. Most look at API, which is basically a measure of the level of education of the parents of the kids who go there (and correlated with income level and somewhat with ethnicity)... and passed out by real estate agents.. So your point about the ss rank being 'useful in theory only' applies equally to API. In fact, it probably even applies more to API if your goal is to actually understand the role the school plays in the outcomes of the students. Of course, some parents actually care more about demographics than they do the 'quality' of the school or teachers. That said, you're right that a number probably cant tell you what you really want to know about a school. Note that Adam suggested not using either of these numbers at all. :-) In the end, ss ranking only exists because API is inherently misleading. Americans tend to like simplistic measures, even if they misleading or not useful.. :-) fwiw, here is a graph I made for last years CST proficiency rates in California by grade and for each reported parent education level. API is based almost exclusively on these numbers: http://tinyurl.com/9krsrrv

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