SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Maureen Bradford                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

310.450.8338, ext. 333                                      15 SEP 2009

 

 

CONtinuing gains on api for santa monica-malibu unified school district

 

Superintendent of Schools, Tim Cuneo, announced the release of the state’s 2009 Academic Performance Index (API) and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) accountability report for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.  The 2009 reports show continued, steady gains for the district overall, with evidence of a narrowing of the achievement gap for several numerically significant groups.   The district’s 2009 API is now at an all time high of 835, a five-point gain over the 2008 Base API. 

 

Superintendent Cuneo enthusiastically endorsed the hard work of teachers, administrators, and support staff.  “Our district mission is to increase achievement for all students while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.  The 2009 API report speaks to the professionalism and commitment of our classroom teachers, school administrators, support staff, and district staff.  Based on these results, we will be moving forward with a strategic plan to focus on specific programs and projects that will yield continued gains for all students, and effectively close the pernicious achievement gaps that remain.”

 

The state’s Academic Performance Index is reported for the district as a whole and for numerically significant groups of students within the district.  In Santa Monica-Malibu, these groups include African American students, Asian, Latino, and White students as well as economically disadvantaged students, English Learners, and students with disabilities.  Results from the 2009 API reveal a narrowing of achievement gaps from 2008 to 2009, especially for African American students and students with disabilities.

 

SMMUSD 2008 Base and 2009 Growth API

 

Base API 2008

Growth API 2009

Growth

SMMUSD

830

835

+5

African American

706

734

+28

Asian

911

914

+3

Latino

745

751

+6

White

876

878

+2

Economically Disadvantaged

731

737

+6

English Learners

757

765

+8

Students with Disabilities

606

622

+16

 

The API is also reported for individual school sites and their numerically significant groups of students.  For individual school sites, the state has set a growth target of five points over the 2008 Base API.  For schools with an API over 800, however, the target is to remain at or above 800.  All of SMMUSD’s schools met their schoolwide growth targets for 2009.   SMASH, the district’s small alternative campus, has not been awarded an API, due to its small size and relatively low participation rate in standardized testing. 

 

SMMUSD Schools’ 2008 Base and 2009 Growth API

 

Base API

2008

Growth API

2009

Growth

Target Met

Edison Language Academy

840

843

+3

Yes

Franklin Elementary

929

943

+14

Yes

Grant Elementary

875

873

-2

Yes

John Muir Elementary

813

812

-1

Yes

Juan Cabrillo Elementary

861

824

-37

Yes

McKinley Elementary

830

864

+34

Yes

Point Dume Elementary

909

944

+35

Yes

Roosevelt Elementary

922

928

+6

Yes

Will Rogers Learning Community

812

814

+2

Yes

SMASH

(No Valid API)

Webster Elementary

925

941

+16

Yes

John Adams Middle School

815

824

+9

Yes

Lincoln Middle School

887

882

-5

Yes

Malibu High School

823

820

-3

Yes

Olympic High School

No Base API

628

N/A

N/A

Santa Monica High School

772

778

+6

Yes

 

Maureen Bradford, the district’s Director of Assessment, Research and Evaluation, commented on the gains and losses in API for individual schools, “With schools at the higher end of the index, there is an increasing vulnerability in year-to-year fluctuations.  For this reason, the state’s growth target for schools with an API above 800 is to simply remain at or above 800.  In SMMUSD, however, we strive for continuous improvement, no matter where schools fall on the spectrum.  We use data from standardized testing, our own district assessments and qualitative measures from student, parent and teacher surveys and focus groups as we continually strive to improve our programs in order to better meet the needs of our diverse community.”

 

Barry Yates, principal of Juan Cabrillo Elementary, commented on several initiatives already in play to re-build Cabrillo’s API, which had experienced a twenty-one point jump in 2008, but then fell substantially in 2009.  “To support students’ literacy development, we have hired a former Cabrillo teacher to work as a reading specialist in grades three through five and are bringing on board a before-school tutorial program for primary grade students.  Teachers and students have returned to school excited and enthusiastic.  We’re off to a great start and we expect great results.” 

 

Suzanne Webb, principal of Lincoln Middle School, also commented on plans for increasing academic achievement.  “We are energized and excited about this school year, focusing on a team approach for continuous improvement.  Our Single Plan for Student Achievement addresses the math and literacy needs of specific groups of students, including students with disabilities. We are introducing several new courses, including Math Workshop and Reading Workshop for sixth and seventh graders who scored below basic or far below basic on state testing.  An Enrichment Class will assist eighth graders with organization, time management and students’ individual academic needs.”

 

In addition to its continued growth on the Academic Performance Index, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has met nearly all of its federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.  A district must meet criteria in four areas in order to make AYP.  The following criteria must be met, not only for the school or district as a whole, but also for numerically significant groups of students:

  • Participation rate of 95 percent or greater for the English language arts (ELA) and Math state test results used to establish the percentage of students at the proficient level or above
  • Percentage of students who score proficient or above in ELA and Math, as compared to Annual Measurable Objectives
  • Growth in the API of at least one point OR a minimum API score of 650
  • A graduation rate of at least 83.1

 

NCLB Adequate Yearly Progress Criteria Met for 2009

 

ELA Participation

ELA % Proficient

Math Participation

Math % Proficient

API

Graduation Rate

SMMUSD 

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

African American

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Asian

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Latino

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

White

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Economically Disadvantaged

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

English Learners

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Students with Disabilities

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

 

AYP accountability is also reported for individual school sites and their numerically significant subgroups.  Schools that receive Title I funds must meet all AYP criteria or risk sanctions under Program Improvement provisions of NCLB.  Each of SMMUSD’s Title I schools – Edison, McKinley, Muir and Rogers – met all AYP criteria for 2009. 

 

Under NCLB requirements, the Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) for the percent proficient criteria will rise by ten to twelve percentage points each year, so that by the year 2014 all students are expected to perform at the proficient or advanced levels.  California’s dwindling resources for education pose a daunting challenge for schools and districts as they strive to stay ahead of the AMO bar. 

 

Superintendent Cuneo noted, “There are incredibly difficult challenges ahead.  In Santa Monica-Malibu, we will strategically target our efforts and align our resources to focus on student achievement and closing the achievement gap.  We hold ourselves and our students to the highest standards and our tremendously supportive community expects nothing less.” 

 

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org