The Palo Alto school district ranked sixth among California K-12 districts in standardized test results released Thursday.
Palo Alto students overall earned a score of 932 on the 2013 Growth Academic Performance Index (API), down one point from last year. The only K-12 district with better overall scores were the significantly smaller districts of San Marino Unified with a score of 953, La Canada Unified with 947, Sunol Glen Unified and Manhattan Beach Unified, both with 935 and Piedmont City Unified with 933.
See this web link for a Palo Alto school-by-school breakdown.
In an analysis of the results, local school officials highlighted gains among its African-American, Hispanic and socioeconomically disadvantaged students as well as its students with disabilities.
All of those subgroups in Palo Alto exceeded statewide averages, but even in Palo Alto those subgroups remained below the 800 API score that California education officials have targeted for all students.
For example, Palo Alto's African-American students earned a 761 compared to a statewide score for African-Americans of 707. Palo Alto's low-income students earned a 768 compared to a statewide score for low-income students of 745. Palo Alto's Hispanic students earned a 795 compared to a statewide average for Hispanic students of 743. Palo Alto's students with disabilities earned 734, compared to a statewide average for students with disabilities of 615.
East Palo Alto's Ravenswood City School District earned a 708 overall API score, with African-American students at 691; low-income students at 706, Hispanic students at 706 and students with disabilities at 555.
See this web link for a school-by-school breakdown in Ravenswood.
"Palo Alto is proud of the significant growth demonstrated in the socio-economically disadvantaged, African-American and students-with-disabilities subgroups," Palo Alto district officials said in a press release.
Other "key findings" highlighted by the district were that seven Palo Alto schools increased their scores over last year, with the greatest gain -- 26 API points -- at Ohlone Elementary School.
In addition, Terman (968) and JLS (942) middle schools posted their highest-ever API scores this year and are in the top 50 middle schools statewide. Jordan Middle School earned a 934.
Gunn (917) and Palo Alto (905) high schools "continue in the Top 50 High Schools Statewide list," the district said.
Overall, 9,247 of Palo Alto's 12,396 students were tested, including 225 African-American students, 951 Hispanic students, 875 low-income students and 988 students with disabilities. Tested students also included 4,211 whites, who earned a 2013 Growth API score of 941 and 3,151 Asians, who collectively scored 976.