The Davis school board will hear Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant’s annual update on the standing of local schools in the state’s Academic Performance Index and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress ranking when the trustees meet on Thursday night.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.
As in past years, Davis schools did pretty well on the state’s Academic Performance Index, which considers schools with a score over 800 points (out of a possible 1,000) to be “high performing.” The Davis school district’s 2013 Growth API was 882 (compared to 880 at the same time last year). Individual schools within the district ranked between 807 and 962.
But under the federal Adequate Yearly Progress ranking — part of the much-criticized No Child Left Behind program, created in 2001 by President George W. Bush — multiple schools in Davis are now categorized as Program Improvement schools, despite their high scores under the state’s API.
No Child Left Behind includes escalating sequence benchmarks for student performance, with the target for student proficiency moving up from 78 percent last year to 89 percent this year, in both math and English language arts. That 89 percent target applies to subgroups like special education students, and students from lower-income households.
However, only schools that receive federal Title I funds go into Program Improvement, leading some critics to conclude that No Child Left Behind actually punishes schools for having lower-income students, without really offering those schools meaningful assistance.
In Davis, schools in Program Improvement status include King High, Birch Lane Elementary, Korematsu Elementary, Harper Junior High, Montgomery Elementary and Patwin Elementary. Other campuses that have largely similar test scores have not been placed in Program Improvement status in part because they don’t have enough low-income students to qualify for federal Title I funds.
Elsewhere on the agenda, the school board will recognize junior high industrial technology teacher Lance Gunnersen, whose students have exhibited their work and received several honors at the California State Fair.
Thursday’s school board meeting will be carried live on Davis cable Channel 17 and as live streaming video on www.djusd.tv.