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Most Berkeley Schools Above State Average in Latest API Scores

The great majority of Berkeley schools continued to score above the state average in the latest Academic Performance Index (API) scores released today, Thursday, with half raising their scores from last year and half showing a drop.

Bas relief mural at Berkeley High School. Photo Credit: Charles Burress
Bas relief mural at Berkeley High School. Photo Credit: Charles Burress
A widely watched measure of California public school quality – the annual API (Academic Performance Index) – shows the Berkeley Unified School District raising its score as whole by 10 points, from 811 last year to 821 to this year.

Results were mixed for individual schools, however, with half registering a drop in their API and half showing an increase. This year's results were released today, Thursday, by the state Department of Education.

All but five of the district's 18 schools scored above the California average 789 and the statewide Department of Education target of 800.

The API – reported on a scale of 200 to 1,000 – is derived largely from the standardized STAR tests taken the previous spring. High school scores also include the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE). (Here’s a detailed summary of the API from the California Department of Education.)

The largest increase in Berkeley was registered at Washington Elementary, which rose 43 points to 869 from 826, and the biggest drop was at John Muir Elementary, which fell 41 points to 782 from 823.

Berkeley High's score rose 22 points to 757 from 735. The district's highest API score is again at Jefferson Elementary with 916, down two points from last year's 918. 

Statewide, the number of California schools meeting the state target for student performance on standardized tests dropped by 2 percent.

In 2013, 51 percent of the state’s schools earned an Academic Performance Index score of 800 or above, compared to 53 percent the previous year.

Based on 2013 test scores, 56 percent of elementary schools, 50 percent of middle schools, and 31 percent of high schools are now at or above the 800 mark.

In the last decade, the number of schools meeting the target of an 800 API has increased by 30 percent.

The state’s overall API dropped two points to 789 from 791, but state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson noted that the statewide API for poor students and students learning English increased five points and one point, respectively.

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