Contact: Hank Harris

310-450-8338, ext. 334

For Immediate Release:

March 16, 2005



Earlier this week the State Superintendent of Schools released the 2004 Academic Performance Index Base Report. The Academic Performance Index (API) is the cornerstone of the Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999, measuring the academic performance and progress of schools. The state identifies schools that have an API of 800 or higher as “excellent,” and once again the majority of schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District exceeded that score.


A closely monitored aspect of the spring API Base Report is the posting of two comparative pieces of data. Statewide Rank ranks all California public schools and gives them a score of 1 through 10, with 10 a top score. Similar Schools Rank is a more complex process. The state links each individual schools with ninety-nine other “similar schools,” based upon the following school characteristics: mobility, ethnic breakdown, socioeconomic status, teacher qualifications, English learner population, class size, and calendar-type. After sorting schools into like-groups, the state then compares each school against its peer schools and gives it a score of 1 through 10.


Eighty percent of the API-reporting schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu School District scored an 8 or above on the Statewide Rankings, including elementary schools Juan Cabrillo, Franklin, Grant, McKinley, Pt. Dume, Roosevelt, and Webster; at the secondary level, Lincoln Middle School, Malibu High School, and Santa Monica High School all scored at 8 or above. In addition, Lincoln Middle School and Malibu High School were both rated as “10/10” schools, meaning that their 2003-04 scores place them in the top tier statewide, and also in the top tier within their peer group. Dr. John E. Deasy, Superintendent of the Santa Monica-Unified School District, called this accomplishment “extraordinary,” noting, “the schools in our two communities continue to forge ahead toward excellence for all students. This is truly a proud moment for all of us.” Dr. Deasy also commented that despite the continuing fiscal crisis facing the state and the dwindling of state monies, the schools of Santa Monica and Malibu continue to defy the odds by accelerating the achievement of their students. “This high quality student achievement is a source of pride for this community which so strongly supports its schools,” he added. “This simply would not be possible without the unprecedented support of our cities and our community members.”


Roosevelt Elementary School, John Adams Middle School, and Santa Monica High School all gained ground on both the Statewide rankings and the Similar Schools rankings. Roosevelt, for example, raised its ranking from “9/5” (where 9 is the Statewide rank and 5 is the Similar Schools rank) last year to “10/8” this year. John Adams and Samohi also experienced double gains, and Dr. Deasy congratulated them all, citing that “this kind of acceleration of achievement is really difficult to do, and it is a true testament to the caliber and commitment of the schools’ teachers and leaders.” In all, fully twelve out of the district’s fourteen API-reporting schools maintained or increased their statewide ranking, and eleven maintained or increased their similar schools ranking. “I am so honored to be part of the work of this district,” Dr. Deasy stated. “The upward trajectory of student achievement in our district is continuous and it is tremendous, and it is a tribute to the extraordinary levels of commitment and achievement by the teachers, parents, community leaders, and students of our community.”




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