6:01 p.m. | KPCC Wire Services | KPCC
Six Los Angeles Unified high schools, one middle school and 26 elementary schools ranked among the top 10 percent of schools statewide, according to public school rankings released today by the state Department of Education.
The state ranks schools academically on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the top 10 percent, to determine a school's standing compared to other schools statewide. The rankings are based on the school's base Academic Performance Index, which is calculated for elementary, middle and high schools based on results of the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program and California High School Exit Exam.
Because of the nature of the system, 10 percent of schools statewide will always be in each tier. Where a school falls, according to score, changes over the years as schools improve their scores.
In the LAUSD, 26 elementary schools received the highest rank of 10, placing them in the highest 10 percent of elementary schools statewide. Ivy Bound Academy charter school in Sherman Oaks was the only middle school to achieve the top ranking among middle schools. Six high schools achieved the high ranking -- College Ready Academy High #4, Granada Hills Charter High, Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, Renaissance Art Academy and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies.
"How a school is faring in comparison to all schools in the state or to those similar in nature is of vital importance to parents, teachers, education advocates and the business community who are all interested in student performance,'' said Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction.
"This information gives the public additional knowledge about how their schools compare to other schools in their region and statewide.''
The state also released base API scores for districts today. The target API score set by the state Department of Education is 800. The LAUSD's base API — based on 2009 standardized testing — was 693.
For 2008, the district's base API was 681, but state officials said the numbers cannot be compared year-to-year because the criteria used to factor the number generally changes annually.
"From one year to the next, assessments may be added or taken away from the set of API indicators,'' according to a state API information guide.
The API score, which shows how each school is performing academically in comparison to other schools, ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000.
The statewide base API was 754, according to the state. The base for elementary schools was 788, while it was 748 for middle schools and 714 for high schools.
Statewide, the base API was 827 for white students, 837 for Filipinos and 877 for Asians. The API was 670 for black students, 698 for Hispanics, 676 for English-learners and 695 for financially disadvantaged students.