Yesterday California's Department of Education released both state API scores and federal AYP scores. The API scores measure growth in test scores year to year, while the AYP numbers show whether schools are meeting No Child Left Behind standards. The numbers yesterday, KQED education reporter Ana Tintocalis tells me, show that many schools are showing progress in meeting state standards but still not making federal targets. (See here and here.)
From her report this morning on The California Report:
The intent behind No Child Left Behind is to have every child in the U.S. satisfy reading and math proficiency rates by the year 2014 -- which is why federal academic targets rise dramatically every year.
But now, close to 4,000 state schools are failing to meet those targets. They face varying degrees of sanctions -- from increased federal oversight to a complete shutdown.
State schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson says the new data underscores the urgent need for California to secure a federal waiver which would allow schools to sidestep penalties.
USC Professor Morgan Polikoff expects more school districts will be under extreme pressure without a waiver.
"Basically, we're getting to the point where 100 percent proficiency is not possible," Polifoff says. "The longer you keep this up, the more negative unintended consequences you can probably expect. Things like more cheating scandals, like we've seen in Atlanta and Pennsylvania."
There's no word yet on whether federal authorities will grant California's waiver request.
The Bay Area News Group has put together a database of state API scores browsable by county, district, and school. (Use the pulldown bars near the top of the page.)
To get the federal No Child Left Behind numbers, go to the California Department of Education site and enter your school district's name. Then click the "2011 AYP - List of Schools in the District" button and hit "Submit." You'll then see which schools have met the standards and if not, how long the school has been on a "watch list" (called "PI Status").