State data: Newport-Mesa's API scores improve

School test scores improved for the second year in a row in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, according to state data released Thursday.

The districtwide average on the Academic Performance Index (API) improved 11 points to 838 out of 1,000.

"I think for the district to [increase 11 points] is very, very good," said Board President Dave Brooks. "I'm very proud of all the work our teachers, administrators, staff and students — especially the students — have done."

Two high schools, Corona del Mar and Early College, broke 900 for the first time, according to the data, which is released by California's Department of Education.

The scores are based on the results of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program and the California High School Exit Examination.

API scores, which range from 200 to 1,000, measure academic performance levels and growth for individual schools and for districts. The state has set 800 as every school's target.

"Our overall test results are excellent news," Supt. Fred Navarro said in a prepared statement. "Our teachers and administrators have worked diligently in identifying academic areas for improvement as well as targeting individual skills for specific students. Their hard work can be seen in the growth demonstrated in the 2012 scores."

Anderson Elementary School scored 961 — the highest in the district for the second year — growing by 11 points.

Newport Coast Elementary, Davis Magnet, Lincoln Elementary, Newport Heights Elementary and Mariners Elementary schools also scored above 900. Davis, with a score of 951, had the largest growth in the district.

Rea Elementary in Costa Mesa received the lowest score, 700, but still grew by 16 points.

Adams, College Park, Whittier and Wilson elementary schools, TeWinkle Middle School, and Costa Mesa and Estancia high schools were some of the lowest performers.

All the schools, with the exception of Estancia, improved. TeWinkle, Wilson, Whittier, College Park and Adams had significant growth of at least 20 points.

In Newport-Mesa, 66% of schools met their target growth. Five schools grew but didn't meet their growth target, and five other schools either stayed the same or declined.

Of the five schools with the highest growth, three of them were Program Improvement schools, meaning they missed annual progress benchmarks required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act for two consecutive years.

Adams, Pomona and Wilson elementary schools are on their way to exiting Program Improvement status after meeting the state's "safe harbor" designation for math and English language arts, according to the district. If the schools meet the designation again next year, they will not longer be in Program Improvement.

Killybrooke, Rea and Costa Mesa High School reached the "safe harbor" designation for math.

The district is expecting to see scores improve again next year, in part, because of a summer camp for Program Improvement schools, Brooks said.

The camp gives students who had fallen below their grade level intensive reading help.

"Next year, we're going to see higher scores," Brooks said.

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

By The Numbers

Elementary Schools

Andersen: 961

Davis: 951

Newport Coast: 950

Lincoln: 938

Harbor View: 936

Mariners: 935

Newport Heights: 905

Eastbluff: 892

Kaiser: 886

Newport: 874

Killybrooke: 860

Victoria: 860

California: 839

Woodland: 833

Sonora: 830

Paularino: 803

Adams: 787

College Park: 763

Wilson: 752

Pomona: 743

Whittier: 737

Rea: 700

Middle Schools

Ensign: 844

Tewinkle: 795

High Schools

Early College: 915

Corona del Mar: 902

Newport Harbor: 838

Costa Mesa: 771

Estancia: 731

Alternative High Schools

Monte Vista: 638

Back Bay: 571

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