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San Diego Schools Improve Test Scores

— Students in the San Diego Unified School District, and many other districts in the county, showed year-over-year improvement on standardized tests, according to results released today by the state Department of Education.

The Academic Performance Index scores covered tests taken during the last academic year. Many students are taking this year's tests now.

Including charter schools, 34 of 39 high schools in SDUSD raised their scores from the previous year, as did 27 of 32 middle schools. Of more than 130 elementary schools, scores dropped at 40 campuses.

The district as a whole improved its score by 19 points.

Because of the way the state sets its goals for the tests, many of the results come with exceptions.

For example, some of the schools that increased their scores did not raise them as high as the state wanted, or didn't raise them enough among all demographic groups. Also, scores were already high at many of the schools that didn't meet their growth targets or suffered drops.

According to the state statistics, Central Elementary, in an economically disadvantaged area of the city, raised its score by 52 points to 754. Other big jumps were made by Barnard Elementary, up 68 points to 874; Edison Elementary shot up 88 points to 842; Bell Middle climbed 67 points to 751; and Mann Middle went up 96 points to 720.

The highest-performing non-charter elementary school was Bird Rock at 974. The top middle school was Marshall at 924.

The best high school was Scripps Ranch with a score of 875, the highest among public high schools in the county.

The API score, which shows how each school is performing academically in comparison to other schools, ranges from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000.

"Today signifies the beginning of a new reporting cycle of testing and reporting under the API, which gives us one measure of school's academic performance,'' said Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of Public Instruction. "This is the jumping-off point where, based on last year's testing results, schools are given a number of points by which they must grow in order to satisfy the requirements of our state accountability system.''

School districts around the county making double-digit leaps in test scores were:

-- Borrego Springs Unified, by 49 points;

-- Chula Vista Elementary, by 18;

-- Lakeside Union Elementary, by 12;

-- Lemon Grove Elementary, by 17;

-- Ramona City Unified, by 22;

-- San Dieguito Union High, by 15;

-- San Marcos Unified, by 20;

-- San Ysidro Elementary, by 21;

-- South Bay Union Elementary, by 21;

-- Sweetwater Union High, by 24; and

-- Valley Center-Pauma Unified, by 16.

The Dehesa Elementary School District's test scores fell by 31 points.

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