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Old 07-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #24
soyizgood's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 11,323

Originally Posted by krz View Post
I believe the link I posted is an aggregate for the whole of California.

I just found it odd that the API for the socioeconomically disadvantaged/English learners was more or less on par with everybody else minus whites, asians, and filipinos.

Wouldn't that suggest that being poor isn't a big obstacle? Especially in cases where the poor are actually managing to score better. Or am I not understanding how API works?
API is a formula that combines results of student's test result. Students in grades 2-5 have CST tests in English, math, and in science for 4th and 5th grade iirc. I'm still a noob trying to figure out how API works. All I know it is one of a number of measures California uses to measure student performance as well as a factor in poor performing schools getting the dreaded "Title I" label.

The way I look at it, schools with low expectations of poor students tend to produce low API scored for them.

At Shenandoah Street, just about the entire student body is classified as poor. While the school has steadily improved the past 5 years, I don't feel there is a strong will among the administrators to get the kids motivated and to strive for better. I've talked with the principal in which I was the only prospective parent that attended her hastily arranged tour (originally there was no planned tour until the first day of classes). The school scores low marks on dealing with bullying, cleanliness of bathrooms, and graffiti.
API - 758
Poor kids - 755

Meanwhile at Clover Avenue, being poor won't cut it as an excuse not to perform well. The administration is top notch, the teachers I've seen there make learning a challenge, but fun and rewarding at the same time. 2/3 of the students are children of UCLA graduate students, 1/3 are classified as gifted. Yet the results indicate this school is motivated to get all the students to learn and perform. To be fair, Clover doesn't get great marks for their bathrooms, either. That and 50% parents marked "Don't Know" if the school has translation and interpretation services readily available.
API - 955
Poor kids API - 914

API doesn't tell the whole story. But then what does? LAUSD also has Survey Reports which get feedback from students, parents, and faculty.

Shenandoah Street
Clover Avenue

Back on the API for the poor, you have to realize that Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and English learners are generally classified as poor. Or at least high percentages of their respective populations are. So it really shouldn't be a surprise that the poor's API was comparable to that of the Hispanics, English learners, Native Americans, and Blacks. Furthermore, the poor don't really have access to the better schools, excluding magnets (can only apply to one of them and often time you have to try at least twice to get in), open enrollment (not sure how that process works), and petitioning to move child out of a NCLB school (to where since 2/3 of the schools are NCLB?).

To make it even more unfair, school districts sometimes draw lines that keep poor and minorities sheltered and isolated from the better schools that have heavy Caucasian and Asian populations. Shenandoah St is a perfect example in that the students are funneled to a poor performing middle school in Mark Twain (further west of the much better Palms Middle School), while Charnock, Palms, Clover, Canfield, and Castle Heights students get to go to Palms Middle School's attendance zone. Mark Twain is nowhere close to Shenandoah Street and you have to basically pass through Palms Middle School to get there anyway. Robertson Blvd. is the psychological barrier for those living in 90034. Live east of it and your kids get treated like you are part of Mid-City and forced into Shenandoah Street Elementary and Mark Twain Middle School.

Palms API 857, poor kids 816
Mark Twain 703, poor kids 703
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Last edited by soyizgood; 07-14-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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