Most Berkeley Unified schools compared favorably to others in the state in rankings released by the state Thursday, though the results were much more mixed when the schools were compared only to others with similar demographics.
Schools were given two scores ranging from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. One ranking shows the comparison with other schools in the state, and the second a comparison only with schools with similar demographics. Schools are only compared with others at the same level – elementary to elementary, middle to middle, and high school to high school.
The newly released rankings are based on the three-digit Academic Performance Index (API) scores released in August which in turn are based on student performance on standardized tests given in 2011.
The highest ranking among Berkeley schools went to Jefferson Elementary, with a 10 both statewide and among similar schools.
Four elementary schools – Berkeley Arts Magnet at Whittier (BAM), Cragmont, Malcolm X and Oxford – and King Middle all ranked 8 statewide but their rankings against similar schools varied – 4 for BAM and Cragmont, 8 for Malcolm X, 9 for Oxford, and 7 for King.
Among the lowest ranked were Berkeley High and John Muir and Leconte elementary schools, which each received 4 in statewide rankings and 1 for similar schools.
Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) was given a 1 in statewide comparison and no ranking for similar schools with a cautionary footnote that “APIs based on small numbers of students are less reliable and therefore should be carefully interpreted. Similar schools ranks are not calculated for small schools.”
The results for the remaining Berkeley elementary schools are Emerson 7 statewide and 5 similar schools; Rosa Parks 6 statewide and 3 similar schools; Thousand Oaks 7 statewide and 2 similar schools; and, Washington, 7 statewide and 4 similar schools.
Longfellow Middle School scored 7 statewide and 9 similar schools. Willard Middle scored 7 statewide and 6 similar schools.
Also released were the 2011 Base API and Growth Target. These are ways of representing the school’s 2011 performance and the growth it was expected to make, under the state’s accountability system, in 2012. Once results from the 2012 testing are available, the Base and Growth numbers will be part of the calculation used to determine whether a school met its goal for improvement
More information is available on the state's API website.
You can also select Alameda County’s results for a quick overview of results for Berkeley and other districts in the county.