API Scores Up for Milpitas Schools

This year sees across-the-board increases for Milpitas public schools, including gains among African-American and Latino students.

The 2011 Academic Performance Index (API) scores released Wednesday showed gains across the board at nearly every Milpitas public school and all racial subgroups.

The district's overall API rose 17 points to 849, higher than the countywide average of 827. In addition, two elementary schools, Curtner and Sinnott, broke 900, a major gain for the district.

"We've reached a milestone," said Marsha Grilli, president of the Milpitas Unified School District Board of Education.

"Despite all the budgetary issues we've had to deal with over the past years, our staff puts education first," she said. "And our students are showing that by their test scores."

Rancho and Russell middle schools are now 10 points apart. Five years ago, the gap between the two had widened to 780 and 826 respectively.

Weller Elementary showed the largest increase, with a 69-point gain. According to Principal Damon James, the API gains start with early education that begins with a student's first years of school.

"The work associated with the API score is more than just about those second- through 12th-grade students tested on those few days of late April and early May," he wrote in an email. "It begins at the pre-kinder and kinder levels with an intense focus on early literacy and problem-solving."  

He wrote, "All of us working as a professional learning community, examining data and systematically tackling how to teach certain skills to students is how we continue in this high-stakes cycle of continuous improvement."  

Michelle Dimas, assistant superintendent of educational services, agreed.

"This kind of sustained significant growth is not accidental. It is a result of hard work by staff and students, and strategic use of data to determine students' learning needs," she wrote.

2011 Growth API 2010 Base API +/- MUSD 849 831 18 Elementary  Sinnott 900 890 10 Curtner 913 885 28 Burnett 880 853 27 Pomeroy 877 879 -2 Spangler 874 852 22 Zanker 869 866 2 Weller 864 795 69 Rose 827 821 6 Randall 780 768 12 Middle School Russell 880 872 8 Rancho 870 856 14 High School
Milpitas High 812 797 15
Achievement gap African-American 723 709 14 Asian 923 909 14 Filipino 842 827 15 Latino 735 709 26 White 844 835 9 Two or more races 863 831 32 Socioeconomically disadvantaged 783 761 22 English learners 821 796 25 Students with disabilities 672 599 73


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