Many area schools raise state test scores
About half of Nevada County’s schools are eligible for awards from the state for improved test scores.
But this year, there’s no money because of state budget cuts — just the satisfaction of making gains on the Academic Performance Index.
Grass Valley School District schools scored lowest overall, but that’s compared to extraordinarily high scores in the rest of the county, said Jon Byerrum, superintendent of the district.
The scores are up from last year (see chart on page A8).
Not only did students overall improve on the test, but so did the English Language learners, noted Byerrum. Some schools – like Grass Valley’s – have subgroups like English language learners, whose scores must increase along with rest of the students’ scores.
“We try to raise the bar for all kids,” Byerrum said. “The state doesn’t want you to be leaving some group behind.”
More than half the students at Hennessy School, for example, are counted as socioeconomically disadvantaged, a high percentage for Nevada County but not the state.
The Academic Performance Index combines results from the California Standards Test and the Stanford 9 test, said Bob Bernstein, who runs the unit at the state Department of Education that calculates the index.
The Department of Education wants to see all schools achieve a score of 800 or more. Those that do, and show significant gains from the previous year, have been eligible for money from the state two years. (Schools whose scores are high and hold steady are ineligible.)
Oak Tree Charter in North San Juan had the lowest score in the county: 585 this year, down from 800 last year. Results from small schools should be interpreted with caution, the state department warned, since one or two students’ performance can drastically alter results.
Vantage Point Charter School, another small elementary school, had low scores: 621 this year, down from 642 last year.
Scores for the high schools won’t be available until December. The district is correcting demographic information for its schools, according to the state Department of Education’s Web site.
The single-number score giving schools a rank between one and 10 is expected in the spring.
2001-02 Academic Performance Index Growth Report
SCHOOL DISTRICT 2002 API 2001 API Met Eligible
target for award
CHICAGO PARK ELEMENTARY
Chicago Park Elementary 827* 821* Yes No
CLEAR CREEK ELEMENTARY
Clear Creek Elementary 742* 817* No No
GRASS VALLEY ELEMENTARY
Grass Valley Charter 791 771 Yes Yes
Hennessy Elementary 766 734 Yes Yes
Scotten Elementary 734 698 Yes Yes
Lyman Gilmore Middle 698 699 No No
Bell Hill Elementary 734* 738* No No
NEVADA CITY ELEMENTARY
Deer Creek Elementary 812 802 Yes No
Seven Hills Intermediate 834 836 Yes No
Gold Run Elementary 831* 808* Yes Yes
Nevada City Charter (Alt)
Nevada City Elementary 821* 778* Yes Yes
NEVADA JOINT UNION HIGH
Bear River High
Nevada Union High
Sierra Mountain High (Alter)
PLEASANT RIDGE UNION ELEMENTARY
Alta Sierra 864 873 Yes No
Cottage Hill 864 837 Yes Yes
Pleasant Ridge 853 850 Yes No
Magnolia 844 832 Yes Yes
PLEASANT VALLEY ELEMENTARY
Williams Ranch 768 747 Yes Yes
Pleasant Valley 824 828 Yes No
READY SPRINGS UNION ELEMENTARY
Ready Springs 784 801 No No
Vantage Point Charter 642* 621* Yes Yes
TWIN RIDGES ELEMENTARY
Nevada City School of the Arts
Yuba River Charter
Bitney Springs Charter High 800* 817* Yes No
Golden Valley Charter
Oak Tree Charter 662* 585* Yes Yes
River Oak Charter
Village 774* 751* Yes Yes
UNION HILL ELEMENTARY
Union Hill 810 824 Yes No
Highland Oaks 824* 889* Yes No
Union Hill Charter 851* 780* Yes Yes
* This API is calculated for a small school, defined as having between 11 and 99 valid STAR test scores. APIs based on small numbers of students are less reliable and therefore should be interpreted with caution.
Awards Notes – The “Awards Eligible” column requires at least five points schoolwide growth and at least four points growth for each numerically significant subgroup.
Source: California Department of Education Policy and Evaluation Division
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User