California public schools officials released the yearly Academic Performance Index on Thursday, and for the first time in the 13 years since the state started using the index, a majority of schools scored the state goal of 800 points.
That’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that scores are up: Schools can score a maximum of 1,000 and a low of 200. Statewide, scores rose 10 points. The index consists mostly of standardized test scores taken by students from second to eleventh grade.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised schools for raising test scores in spite of successive budget cuts to education each year. “We’ve set a high bar for schools and they have more than met the challenge, despite the enormous obstacles that years of budget cuts have put in their way,” he said in a statement.
The bad Academic Performance Index news is that there’s a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between elementary schools and high schools that reached the 800 goal. Nearly 60 percent of state elementary schools scored 800 or above. Half that proportion, 30 percent, of high schools statewide reached the 800 point API goal.
For more on API test score results: