Burbank API scores show widespread gains

Irma Lemus

BURBANK -- Things are looking up for Burbank Unified School District.

Academic Performance Index scores for 2000 released Tuesday showed

gains reaching across all grade levels including several examples of

dramatic improvement in Burbank schools. All but one of the 16 Burbank

schools tested scored higher than last year and all but two met or

exceeded improvement targets set in 1999, the first year the new

evaluation system was implemented.

Statewide API scores -- in which Burbank's progress can be measured

against other schools -- will be released today by the California

Department of Education.

Class size reduction, more effective literacy programs and staff

development were among the factors contributing to the higher scores,

Supt. David Aponik said.

"I'm very pleased with the scores. We have some challenges ahead, but

overall this is good news," Aponik said.

Adding to the good news, Aponik said the gains could pay off with up

to $1.6 million in additional funding from the state.

The API measures overall student performance at all California public

schools. API scores partially determine the amount of money individual

schools receive. The state has set an index of 800 as the target schools

should strive to meet.

The Stanford 9 exam given to students in grades 2-11 each spring is used to determine a school's Academic Performance Index score.

Although none of Burbank's schools met the 800 state target, students

at nearly every campus exceeded their growth targets, a fact that makes

those schools eligible for state reward money.

David Starr Jordan Middle School and Burbank High School were the only

schools that did not meet growth targets. Jordan's score of 685 was eight

points lower than in 1999. Burbank High's 2000 score actually improved

three points from 650 to 653 but failed to meet the target score of 658.

Aponik said it was too early to say why scores at Jordan and Burbank

dipped but he said curriculum and student outreach could be part of the

equation.

"It's hard to predict a school's improvement from looking at one year.

There can be many factors to why a school's scores might dip,"

On Tuesday, school administrators preferred to look at the bigger

picture.

Caroline Brumm, coordinator of Student and Program Evaluation, said

Walt Disney and Providencia elementary schools, which had the lowest

scores in the district on the 1999 API, improved significantly.

Disney jumped from 603 last year to 697 in 2000, exceeding its 613

growth target by 84 points. Providencia's 2000 score of 670 was a major

improvement from last year's 587.

"We're delighted. It's absolutely great news and I'm really proud of

everyone," Brumm said.

2000 ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE INDEX SCORES

Listed are 1999 test scores, individual school improvement goals,

20000 test scores and the overall difference between 1999 and 2000.

1999*Goal*2000*Difference

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Bret Harte: 709*5*731*+22

Walt Disney:603*10*697*+94

Thomas A. Edison:664*7*721*+57

Ralph W. Emerson:708*5*742*+33

Thomas Jefferson:742*3*776*+34

William McKinley:613*9*644*+31

Joaquin Miller: 642*8*698*+56

Providencia: 587*8*670*+83

Theodore Roosevelt: 738*3*765*+27

Robert Louis Stevenson: 668*7*741*+73

George Washington: 700*5*708*+8

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Luther Burbank: 653*7*696*+43

John Muir:669*7*712*+43

David Starr Jordan:693*5*685*-8

HIGH SCHOOLS:

John Burroughs: 638*8*648*+10

Burbank:650*8*653*+3

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