Santa Barbara schools received their report cards in the form of Academic Performance Index (API) scores, and overall numbers are up. (See the full breakdown below.)
Superintendent Dave Cash pointed out that API scores are but one imperfect reflection of the learning that takes place at a school site, so he made it a point not to gloat too hard. He also noted that students with disabilities, English language learners, and economically disadvantaged students are still lagging too far behind. Notable, though, was a 37-point leap at Adelante Charter School, whose charter was almost pulled a few years ago due to poor academic performance.
Harding University Partnership School, which celebrated a whopping 57-point increase last year, saw a decrease of 14 points from 744 to 730. Eight hundred is considered proficient, according to the state. Cash said that a dip is typical the year after an astronomical jump.
The good news for the Westside elementary school is that, on Wednesday, it was officially designated an International Baccalaureate World School offering the Primary Years Programme — the first such school in the county. Cash said he believes the school’s movement toward inquiry-based instruction will actually benefit its scores when the current testing regime is replaced next year as California adopts new standards called the Common Core.
Exams will no longer ask passive-response, multiple-choice questions and will be administered throughout the school year rather than for one week in April.