Newly released academic performance scores show an increase for most Beverly Hills public schools, although they did not meet the school district’s growth goals in the crucial subject of math.
BHUSD as a whole improved 19 points on the 2011 California Academic Performance Index to 891, according to news released Wednesday. API scores are graded on a scale of 200 to 1,000. The state has set a target of 800 or higher for all schools. (Statewide scores can be found here.)
—perennially the lowest-scoring school in the district—had the strongest jump in API scores, moving from 839 to 873.
also showed an impressive rise from 909 to 926. moved up from 904 to 915, while showed a very modest rise of one point to 899. fell one point to 901.
API scores are considered an important gauge of the caliber of a school. Higher API scores help increase property values.
"I am pleased with the direction our district is headed but we still have work to do in achieving our goal of academic excellence for all our students,” Board of Education Vice President Brian Goldberg told Patch. “While we saw growth in almost all academic areas, we still have an issue with mathematics in our district.”
Goldberg was referring to another set of state scores, the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) numbers, released earlier in August. Interim Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Jennifer Tedford told the board at its Aug. 24 meeting that BHUSD met only two out of six STAR test goal targets for 2010.
According to her presentation, which can be found here, BHUSD’s math goals were reached at the kindergarten through eighth grade levels but fell far short at the high school level.
The district had aimed to have 80 percent of high school students proficient or advanced in math, but there was just a 4 percent growth in proficiency, to 50 percent. The district had also hoped for a 10 percent growth for high school students who were non-proficient in math, but there was a just a 3.3 percent jump in this area.
Overall, BHUSD math proficiency improved 2 percent to 67 percent in 2011.
Tedford suggested the BHUSD set up a committee to look at ways to improve math skills.
“Although some gains were made in K-8 mathematics and higher level high school mathematics, overall results point to a need for a K-12 mathematics committee ... to provide an articulated program that ensures successful completion of [all] mathematics requirements,” she said in her presentation.