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CORRECTION: High School API scores released

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Posted: October 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 12, 2012 5:57 p.m.

Ninth-grader Emily Ongele, 14, works on a two-point perspective drawing in an art class at the Albert Einstein Academy in Valencia on Wednesday.

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William S. Hart Union High School District schools showed an eight-point districtwide increase in students’ 2012 standardized test scores, demonstrating an ongoing trend of improvement, according to figures released Thursday.

Additionally, the district saw big gains in its junior high students’ scores. Every school surpassed its state-growth goal, and one school, Sierra Vista, raised its score by 32 points, one of the largest gains of any school in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Hart district also had a pair of junior high schools pass the 900-mark. Rancho Pico Junior High earned a 924, and Rio Norte Junior High scored a 900.

“I think it’s important that all of our comprehensive sites met their API goals,” said Dave LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment. “We also had three schools above 900, and that’s an absolute gold standard.”
With a 937, Academy of the Canyons students earned the highest marks for the 23,000-student junior high and high school district.

Golden Valley High School scored 781, an 11-point improvement from the previous year’s score, which was the largest gain for any high school. The school more than doubled its state target growth, which called for a five-point improvement.

“Through our partnership with College of the Canyons, we’re growing our Upward Bound program,” said Hart school board President Gloria Mercado-Fortine. Upward Bound supplies workshops, tutoring and mentoring opportunities for 60 students each year who are first-generation college students.

West Ranch High School had the second most-impressive gain, which was a four-point jump to 856.
Valencia, which scored 850, Hart, which scored 830, and Saugus, which scored 820, all improved by a point. These schools did not have a state goal set because they already surpassed the state’s 800 goal.

Nearly all of the district’s comprehensive junior high and high schools surpassed the 800 number.

The district’s overall score was 838 based on students’ performances on state standardized tests taken last June; the possible range of scores is 200 to 1,000.

“It puts us on a list of top performers for high school districts in the state of California,” said Dave LeBarron, director of curriculum and instruction for the Hart district.

“It is the result of our teachers, support staff and administrators working very hard to assess, evaluate and improve their instruction and our students’ performance,” LeBarron said. “Their work, combined with the support we receive from our parents and community, is the core of a school culture that is focused on meeting the academic needs of all of its students.”

Bowman High School, a continuation school in the district, saw a 106-point decline, but the school’s score is under dispute by district officials, LeBarron said.

There are 85 students who passed the state’s high school exit exams, but due to when they were enrolled, the state did not count the scores. The district is asking the state to re-evaluate the scores as a result, he said.

Statewide, some 53 percent of schools scored at or above the state’s target of 800, an increase of 4 percentage points over last year.

Ten years ago, only 20 percent of schools statewide met or surpassed the API target.

“I think there’s a lot of work that’s been going on, and I think a reflection of that can be seen in our scores,” Mercado-Fortine said. “And we’ve just got to continue the good work.”

To see your school’s individual score go to dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest.

psmith@the-signal.com
661-287-5526

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