The Garden Grove Unified School District is beating the state of California in the English Language and Mathematics Academic Performance Index.
A presentation at Tuesday’s school board meeting examined and explained numbers and student achievement growth, in some cases charted since 2000.
At present, the overall target API statewide is 800 and GGUSD comes in at 821.
What this means is that GGUSD has met and exceeded statewide learning comprehension levels.
“API is our academic performance index, our state accountability system, which looks at growth over time, [which] improves over time,” said Chris Ash, director of evaluation and research.
Bob Harden, board member, said, “When we first started this [state evaluation system] we didn’t have any schools at 800, or even close. Now all of our schools are over 800.”
Next in the progress examination was the Adequate Yearly Progress numbers.
Ash said that something that was helpful was that the program Illuminate takes the number of English Second Language students into account when tracking language acquisition progress.
“It’s great to be above the state on this one [English Language],” said Ash.
The GGUSD comes in at 59.2 percent, while the state of California stands at 58.1 percent.
With math, GGUSD is at 70.2 percent and California is at 59.5 percent. The overall expectation target is at 78.2 percent.
The district has been using data to assess student progress and retention, by tracking cohorts, single groups, of students over a period of years.
The results have been resulted with progressively pushing the numbers lower on “far below basic” comprehension since 2010, and growing the proficiency level percentage. As each of the lowest ranks get smaller, the higher ranks and percentages bloom.
“The really unique aspect of this is that we are now able to look at specific groups of students, see their progress in a detailed scale and ‘spot correct’ learning by having our teachers and admin work together. It’s no longer just the teacher alone,” said Alan Trudell, public information officer.
Monica Acosta-Ibarra, director of K-6 instructional services, said that positive impacts of using the collected data is the ability to intervene when a student’s progress hits a bump.
“We don’t wait for fall in two or three years . . . if we get our kids reading and writing early and often we are setting them up for success later,” said Acosta-Ibarra.
That point was seconded by Kelly McAmis, director of 7-12 instructional services, “It’s very important that take a strong focus and build upon that work as theywe [students] come into our secondary schools.”