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More Schools Meet State Goals

The number of Long Beach Unified School District schools meeting state Academic Performance Index targets for all subgroups of students grew by about 9 percent this year, according to newly released data from the California Department of Education.  Meanwhile nearly three-fourths of schools here met their overall, or schoolwide, targets for academic growth.

A majority (about 52 percent) of local schools met all of their subgroup targets (including groupings by race or socioeconomic status), up 9 percent over the previous year.

The encouraging news on student performance comes despite the fact that LBUSD has cut more than $330 million from its budget, including 1,000 jobs, since 2008.

The API is a numeric index that ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000.  The state’s ultimate target for schools on the index is 800.

Schools with some of the highest API gains were Hoover, +52; Lindbergh, +48; Butler (now Nelson), +46; Jordan, +44; Jefferson, +43; Franklin, +36; Webster, +32; Renaissance, +31;  Wilson, +31; Rogers, +30; Lindsey, +27; Cabrillo, +25; Bixby, +22; Robinson, +21; and Marshall, +20.

Middle schools showed strong gains for the second year in a row.  The middle schools have implemented a number of changes aimed at improving student achievement, including self-contained sixth grade classrooms at many campuses.  Such classrooms create a more gradual transition to middle school by allowing students to stay with one teacher for the entire day rather than switching from class to class.  Middle schools also placed more students into eighth grade algebra and provided the extra support needed to master this college gateway course.

Several high schools also posted significant gains this year, including Jordan, Renaissance, Wilson and Cabrillo.  Among the reasons for the high school gains is that sophomores last year benefitted from a federal grant that allowed for additional instruction after school, and in some cases, on Saturdays, to help students master the skills that are measured by the California High School Exit Exam. Perform-ance on the exit exam is a key factor in the API calculation for high schools.

“We again saw a trend of significant, steady gains overall, which is why our districtwide API rose another 10 points to 781,” said Christopher J. Steinhauser, LBUSD superintendent of schools.

“We continue to provide targeted support that is making a positive difference for students,” Steinhauser said.  “Our employees, parents and many community partners should be commended for a job well done.”