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Ghidotti shines in state testing

Macayla Jefferis
Special to The Union
Photo for The Union John Hart
Jorn Hart | The Union

William and Marian Ghidotti Early College High School may not be as well-known as some of the larger schools in the Nevada and Placer counties, but that’s certainly not due to lack of merit.

As a matter of fact, Ghidotti recently tied for 17th among 2,572 California high schools in Academic Performance Index, or API, testing scores.

Ghidotti High School students take courses through Sierra College in addition to their high school classes.

High-achieving students can even earn enough college units to receive their associate’s degree or complete their four-year university general education requirements before graduating high school. The additional education that students receive through their college courses may have contributed to the school’s excellent API score.

According to the California Department of Education website, API scores are used to “measure the academic performance and growth of schools on a variety of academic measures.” The website also reports “the information that forms the basis for calculating the API comes from the results of the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program and the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).”

Other information presented in the yearly API report includes SAT scores, graduation rates, and statistics about class sizes, enrollment, and disciplinary actions.

Ghidotti has posted high API scores in previous years, consistently outscoring the district average. Possible scores range from 200 to 1,000, with Ghidotti managing to score 932 in the 2011-12 school year, a 10-point improvement over the previous year.

“These tests are the only tests that are the same statewide,” said Ghiddoti Principal Melissa Madigan. “They allow schools to evaluate the effectiveness of the education students are receiving and to compare their effectiveness with the benchmark for the state. The state’s goal is to ensure proficiency in every student, and until we have met that mark, education is not complete.”

Many of the people at Ghidotti are proud of the achievements of their school.

“I think it’s really great that all the hard work we put into our school is shown in a way that others can see,” says senior Kaelie Landon.

“I’m impressed that our API score is as good as it is,” said teacher Gary Mullennax. “Our scores have been really good since the school opened. I think it attests that Ghidotti is a quality program.”

Opening in 2006, the Ghidotti program has done extremely well.

Students and staff are significantly invested in ensuring the success and advancement of their school.

While many are impressed at the high level of success the school has already achieved, Ghidotti students are a bit disappointed to place “only 17th” statewide in API scoring.

“I think we can do better in the future, and I’m really proud of how well we’ve been doing,” said senior Ellen King.

The pride that students and staff take in their school and their investment in its progress are a large part of Ghidotti’s continual improvement and success.

Macayla Jefferis is a Ghidotti Early College High School senior, who completed an internship with The Union during the summer of 2012.

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