The results are in -- state test scores show that local students are
doing well compared to similar schools statewide.
In the Academic Performance Index scores released Thursday by the
California Department of Education, Burbank public school students
continued to make steady gains.
Using a numerical ranking from a low of 1 to a high of 10, Burbank
elementary, middle and high schools ranked six or higher.
When measured against similar schools of the same socioeconomic
group, Burbank schools generally scored well, with Disney and
Providencia elementary schools each receiving a 10.
“We’ve been working really hard for the last four years,” Disney
principal Linda Reksten said. “We’ve worked hard on reading and math,
and frequently check student [progress] to make sure the kids are
If students are having problems, Reksten said that teachers
“We catch things pretty quickly, and that’s the secret to our
success,” she said.
In schools with the same demographics as Disney, including
students on free and reduced lunch and English-as-a- second-language
students, Reksten said her school places at the top.
However, Emerson and Roosevelt elementary schools -- when compared
to similar socioeconomic schools -- were at the low end, with a 1 and
Emerson Principal Linda Acuff said she and the teachers plan to
address the problem.
“We started a schoolwide writing campaign this year,” Acuff said.
“We know that writing makes the students smarter because of
synthesizing all their skills and knowledge. We anticipate that will
This is the first year Emerson teachers are doing interim
assessments on a regular basis, Acuff said, adding that the
information will give them indications about what specific needs the
Emerson teachers are given release time from their classes to plan
and analyze the data, Acuff said. Substitutes are paid for by
reading-award money that the school earned, she said.
In the latest test scores, 80% of the API for elementary and
middle schools rests on the California Standards Tests, which
superseded the Stanford 9 tests, while almost 90% of the API for high
schools is based on the standards test and the California High School
Exit Exam, state education officials said.
Specifically, the API includes English language arts and
mathematics for grades two through 11, with social science added for
grades 10 and 11.
“When we first started giving API’s in the state, there was a
heavy reliance on the Stanford 9, and now it counts at a much lower
percentage,” said Caroline Brumm, the district’s coordinator of
student and program evaluation.
From 1999 to 2001, the Stanford 9 mathematics test counted as 20%
of the overall test score, but in 2002, it dropped to 3%, while the
California Standards Test for mathematics became 18% of the test
Because the 2002 base API includes the new standards- based
tests, as well as the exit exams, and because the calculation of the
2002 Base API is different from the 2001-2002 growth API that was
released in October, state officials said that a comparison of the
two is inappropriate.