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Several Alameda Schools Experience Negative API Growth

Nine Alameda Unified School District schools, including Amelia Earhart Elementary, Washington Elementary, Will C. Wood Middle School and Island High experienced negative API growth in the 2010-11 measurement year, according to statistics released this week from the California Department of Education.

Washington Elementary School, one of the district’s most ethnically diverse schools, and also a perennial poor performer, dropped 16 points from a 2010 base API score of 794 to 778. In a press release, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Kirsten Vital acknowledged that not all AUSD schools and subgroups met their annual yearly progress goals.

According to the release, “district-wide, the African American/Black subgroup, and the Hispanic/Latino subgroup did not meet the federal targets in ELA or Math. District-wide, the Socio-economically disadvantaged subgroup did meet federal targets in Math, but did not meet targets in ELA [English Language Arts]. In addition, three AUSD schools are now in Program Improvement status.”

The district didn’t name the three schools, but according to the Department of Education Records, Ruby Bridges Elementary joins Will C Wood Middle School and Chipman Middle School in program improvement status for the 2011-12 year. Ruby Bridges Elementary lost 5 points, dropping from a 2010 API base of 816 to 811.

NEA Community Learning Center, Alameda Community Learning Center, William G. Paden Elementary, Encinal High also experienced negative API growth in the current statistics released. The newest charter school, Academy of Alameda, which operates out of the Chipman school facility, scored an initial API score of 770, below Lincoln Middle School’s score of 908 but above Wood’s score of 749.

Last week, the AUSD Board of Trustees approved a new four-year contract for Superintendent Kristen Vital that sets her compensation about more than $236,000/year, depending on performance and health benefits options.

27 comments to Several Alameda Schools Experience Negative API Growth

  • Bernice Wong

    This is your Measure A dollars at work.

  • 94502

    Vital is not vital to the AUSD. Send her on her way. Out!

  • Richard Hausman

    First, if you believe that API is the be-all/end-all in measuring whether a child is receiving a good education, you’re simply wrong. Second, independent studies have shown over and over that students from poor families don’t do as well as those from better off families (Piedmont v Oakland, e.g.). Therefore, if particular schools have an increased number of students from poor families over the prior year, the API is bound to decrease. Linking resources, wherever they come from, to API scores is not only specious but diverts attention from more substantive reasons for the problems at schools in every community. It would be better to have a more reasoned discussion and a more thorough analysis of the lower API scores than by simply whining about Measure A dollars or by making sophomoric puns. How about it, David? I’m sure a well-thought through analysis would be welcomed by your readers (including me) and that you’re clearly capable of writing.

  • Richard – to read Kirsten Vital’s press releases, and listen to local real estate agents, API scores are indeed the be all and end-all measure of whether or not a child is receiving a good education.

    When AUSD starts providing equality in OUTCOMES, and not kow-towing to a reliable minority of supporters in wealthy neighborhoods in Alameda to funnel money to them – that’s people with whom you associate, Richard – then we might have a system somewhat approaching the mission and values that AUSD espouses.

    We don’t want equality in input, we want equality in outcome. If schools with a high proportion of low-income kids have lower test scores, they need higher input. However, if that happens, trust Richard Hausman to be up there at the podium venting at the “inequality” of it all. (But in fact lobbying for his friends and neighbors…)

    It’s called “fou-fou liberalism” Richard…

  • Say what

    8 furlough days due to budget cuts means fewer days in the classroom. You get what you pay for….

    This has nothing to do with Measure A.

  • And for that matter Richard – you are trying to defend Vital and AUSD by saying that “linking resources, wherevery they come from, to API scores is not only specious…”

    But the person you are trying to support – Vital – does exactly that. She justifies the poor API results to “budget cuts” – i.e. less resources. Vital herself is linking lack of resources to poor results: From her press release:

    “This latest round of reports from the State confirms that most of our students are continuing to improve year after year. Following our remarkable double digit growth as a district in 2009 and 2010 and keeping in mind that these results are from last school year when we had to make many millions of dollars in budget cuts before our community passed Measure A, there are many accomplishments here to celebrate.”

    You can’t have it both ways, Richard, try as you might.

  • Denise Shelton

    Ms. Vital should take a leaf from this guy’s book. He really does care about the kids:

    “Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell is giving back $800,000, the amount that what would have been his compensation for the next three years.

    Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than what a starting California teacher earns.

    Powell Gives Back Even More Money!

    However, it turns out that Powell is actually giving up even more. He technically retired, and then was rehired with a $31,000 salary.

    But on August 29, Powell told The Associated Press that he’s also planning to donate that $31,000 salary to charity.

    “How much do we need to keep accumulating?” asks Powell, 63. “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.”

    Reposted from
    If Vital has any scruples at all, she will decline the raise. At a time when many AUSD students are relying on the Food Bank to keep body and soul together, this raise is outrageous, insensitive, and a slap in the face to those voters who supported Measure A “for the kids.” And to Mooney, et al. who approved it, shame on you!

  • Anonymous

    You want equality in outcome, Action Alameda? I thought you were some kind of libertarian. Isn’t equality of outcome is, as your fellow unschooled tea-party types would scream, socialism? I have a feeling you just don’t want to pay taxes.

  • You shouldn’t make assumptions, Anonymous. When you do that, you’ll make an “ass” of “you” and “me.” You’ve been reading and believing too much of your own rhetoric.

  • Gina

    Vital is not capable and qualified for the job, and waste taxpayers money. AUSD creates inequality and problems.

  • Bernice Wong

    During the heated campaign for Measure A, proponents stated that if I voted for Measure A, test scores would go up, my home value would go up, and businesses would move to Alameda.

    None of which has happened.

    I encourage all Alamedans to get a Measure A “refund” by applying for a decline in property tax assessment with the Alameda County Tax Assessor.

  • They also said that anybody opposed to Measure A must be some kind of unschooled tea-party type anti-tax libertarian…

  • Parent

    AUSD, lie, dishonesty and untrustworthy, bad administration.

  • Anonymous

    As a TEA(Taxed Enough Already!) Party Libertarian, but w/2 doctoral degrees, I resemble that remark! I thought the nakedness of the Parcel Tax Emperor was well-exposed by the following link: Who Is Tramutola? « No On Measure B: Unfair Ill-Timed 10th School … –
    Just substitute AUSD for LSD & you’ll understand how badly we’ve been had!
    Hausman seems to be just an agent of Tramutola’s.

  • hobnob

    Where did AUSD get the extra money to give her a raise and better health plan? There shouldn’t be extra money if Measure A passed b/c Measure A was suppose to provide funds for stuff AUSD couldn’t afford.

    Anyway, I think testing is a bad way of judging schools, but there is also no other way to standardized judging, so it’s a catch 22 right?

    Also, if we’re pitting low-income students and their poorer performance to the higher-income students and better performance, wouldn’t it have been better to just take some of those funds and create a “tutorial” class where these students can go for extra help. This would maybe be an hour after class – but another class in itself.
    – I would wonder who would show up for these classes if they aren’t mandatory, then you can really see if students care to get help or not if they are falling behind as opposed to those that are excelling.

    I think Measure A would have kept home prices from starkly declining, but in no way would it make your home prices go up and opposite the way of the economy at this moment.

  • blanche knott

    As a TEA(Taxed Enough Already!) Party Libertarian, but w/2 doctoral degrees, I resemble that remark! I thought the nakedness of the Parcel Tax Emperor was well-exposed by the following link: Who Is Tramutola? « No On Measure B: Unfair Ill-Timed 10th School … –
    Just substitute AUSD for LSD & you’ll understand how badly we’ve been had!
    Hausman seems to be just an agent of Tramutola’s.

  • Hobnob – people like Richard Hausman argue that more money = higher API scores when they are supporting their friends in trying to pass a parcel tax to keep their own little fiefdom schools open. But when AUSD fails to close the achievement gap, year after year, they come back and argue that there is no connection between money and API scores. It’s called selective reasoning.

  • 94502

    Yes. The ones at the top are using us as pawns to enhance their checkbooks.

    We and the students are the losers.

    They’ll never pass another parcel tax in Alameda.

  • blanch

    94502:that was said after the last parcel tax, and the 1 before that, & the 1 before… Seven yrs is the strategic limit agreed on by Parcel Tax Whores so that memories fade & residents move away.

  • b. knott

    94502:that was said after the last parcel tax, and the 1 before that, & the 1 before… Seven yrs is the strategic limit agreed on by Parcel Tax Whores so that memories fade & residents move away.

  • Parent

    blanch,b. knott both admit that AUSD lie every time to pass parcel tax and not accountable administration.

  • Richard Hausman

    David, I did not say that more money equals higher test scores; you said that. I related higher API scores to higher income families and vise versa. And I’m so sorry that I thought you were clear-headed enough to write a reasoned piece about API scores. My mistake. You just can’t get away from name calling can you, try as you might?

  • 94502

    Let’s spell it correctly: vice versa

    Reviewing all of the comments above, I do not see any name calling.

    Libertarian, tea partier, republican, democrat, independent….. Have these now become “name calling?”

    Why, turning “assume” into an “ass” out of “you” and “me” indicates that the writer is clear headed. It’s the one making the assumptions that is out of line.

  • Richard – you can’t get away from the trumped up allegations, can you, try as you might? I didn’t call you any names.

    You are part of the crowd of proponents pushing for Measure A and justifying it on the basis of more money translating into better schools, higher home prices due to better schools, better schools a measured through API scores, etc. etc.

  • Tell you what Richard – you are arguing that there is no connection between funding and high API scores, right? That’s in contravention of that the AUSD Superintendent put in her press release, already cited.

    Forget what I think – why don’t YOU write an essay taking Vital to task for falsely associating funding with API scores. You disagree with her, right? I’ll publish your essay, after review.

  • B Knott

    I don’t believe I directed the term “Parcel Tax Whore” @ anyone specifically, but if the shoe fits, RH, you know what they say…

  • Betty

    65 is just around the corner….
    I thought I never had to wish to get older.
    No parcel tax and medicare…what a birthday present…I don’t need anything else.

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