first_img“We were thrilled,” said Mary Branca, principal of Ocean View, which is in the East Whittier City School District. “We’ve implemented a lot of new strategies to make sure our kids are actively engaged in the classroom.”It’s quite an improvement from East Whittier City’s 2005 base report, said Assistant Superintendent Linda Welch.“Last year, we were really disheartened by our similar-schools rankings,” which ranged only between 1 and 5 in 2005 for all 13 schools. In 2006, most of East Whittier’s schools earned a ranking between 5 and 9.“We’ve worked really hard,” Welch said. “Our schools have just been making some significant changes, and I expect to see good results come from it.”Overall, nearly three-quarters of 134 area schools at 10 school districts saw improvements in their 2006 API scores from the previous year. Those districts are the East Whittier, El Rancho Unified, Little Lake City, Los Nietos, Lowell Joint, Montebello Unified, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified, South Whittier, Whittier City and Whittier Union High school. Eighteen schools, including Andrews Elementary and California High in Whittier, scored a 9 or better in their similar-schools rankings.“Our staff works very hard to improve the educational environment for every student at Cal High,” said Principal Rich Boline. “It is gratifying to know everyone’s hard work is paying off when compared to similar schools.”At the Whittier City School District, 10 of 13 schools saw improvements in their API scores from 2005, but Jackson and Lincoln elementary schools each received a statewide rank of 2 and a similar-schools rank of 1.As a result, Superintendent Carmella Franco said the district “has redoubled its efforts this current academic year in the areas of professional development, interventions for underachieving students and other site improvements.”Also, English learners are participating in one of three programs to address their specific needs.“The district remains hopeful that these efforts will result in stronger scores for this academic year,” Franco said.State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he’s proud of schools’ steady progress on the API.But he said more work needs to be done on narrowing the achievement gap between successful students — often white or Asian and from affluent families — and struggling students, who are often poor, Hispanic, black, English learners or who suffer from a disability.As such, annual API targets will be set higher this year for student subgroups, which are based on race and socioeconomic status, among other [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER — Three area schools, including Ocean View Elementary in East Whittier, were ranked among the top schools in the state on the 2006 Academic Performance Index base report, released Tuesday by the California Department of Education.The base report, which establishes a new baseline for comparison against 2007 test results, features adjusted API scores for last spring’s testing and school rankings from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.Two sets of API rankings are given out annually, based on comparisons to all schools statewide and to schools with similar demographics.When compared with schools statewide, Ocean View and Escalona elementaries in La Mirada were ranked among the highest with a 9. They were topped only by Macy Elementary in La Habra, which received a perfect 10.last_img read more

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