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API scores edge higher

Original post made on May 21, 2009

The California Department of Education released the API (Academic Performance Index) scores this morning, showing the Pleasanton Unified School District has slightly improved over last year's already high-ranking results.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 21, 2009, 11:04 AM

Comments (65)

Posted by Marie, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Congratulations Pleasanton Schools, another job well done! This is why we need to vote YES On Measure G! We need to continue our great schools and keep those API scores up and property values high!
VOTE YES ON G on June 2nd! It is the future of our kids and community!


Posted by Rick, a resident of Parkside
on May 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Wonderful News...


My congratulations to the students, teachers, parents and staff for maintaining high scores and several improvements.

I hope everyone can embrace these numbers with a "High 5" given to all involved.









P.S. My hope is that this thread can remain 'parcel tax' free of comments…and that we can all use this thread to simply celebrate achievement.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Parkside
on May 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Marie,

We posted at the same time...My P.S. comment was not directed to you. I wrote hoping to be 1st to post up.

It is Great news indeed!


Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on May 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Kudos to both the parents and teachers.

But what's going on with Village High?


Posted by Pleasanton resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm

STAR testing just finished last week, and they already have the results? That was quick. Also good news unless your kids go to Lydiksen, which mine happen to do. I'm wondering why they're at the bottom of Pleasanton elementary schools and also why the big drop from last year?


Posted by Oscar, a resident of Country Fair
on May 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Anybody know why our scores drop off and we got worse in the high schools?


Posted by resident, a resident of Birdland
on May 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Must be a bad batch of parents. As has been stated before, teachers play no role in academic success ;)


Posted by And in other news, a resident of Valley Trails
on May 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Well done, PUSD! The scores are simply outstanding.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Congratulations to the students, their parents, and the teachers!

Three middle schools all with API over 900 -- very impressive.

And the district-wide average of 895 is wonderful!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Congratulations students & teachers. VIVA!


Posted by Right Wing Extremist, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 21, 2009 at 6:17 pm

These are indeed great scores, but Pleasanton resident, you got me thinking...

I just checked the CDE's website when the test scores for our school sounded exactly the SAME as LAST YEAR, including the "growth".

This is what I gleaned...

The 2009 Growth API is projected for release on September 2, 2009.

Web Link

Way to go, PW.

I don't want to sound cynical, but is it possible this information was "presented as new" to help everyone cheer on a support for "extra revenue" for the school district...

Rick, I REALLY tried hard!!


Posted by Tom, a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 21, 2009 at 6:37 pm


"I don't want to sound cynical, but is it possible this information was "presented as new" to help everyone cheer on a support for "extra revenue" for the school district..."
The state always releases an updated API score at this time of year, has nothing to do with trying to get "extra revenue"


Posted by Bill, a resident of Downtown
on May 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

tom, I am with you as this stinks of timing and nobody wants to talk about why our high school scores went in the tank


Posted by John, a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2009 at 7:35 pm


Oh the poor teachers must be poor and we will pass the hat and resident you are such a stud so please try to be civil so as not to wet your pants. The teachers in your town are a joke and you all have a significant man up issue or maybe a woman up issue. Significant image issues and if you could really achieve you would go out and compete rather than milk the breast of society and complain


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Walnut Hills
on May 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I don't think that slipping 3 or 6 points on a 1,000 point scale is really "in the tank". I guess that's why nobody (except Bill) is talking about it. They still are exceptional scores.

As for John: you can't really argue with crazy...

Way to go teachers, parents, and students! It takes a village :)


Posted by Phil, a resident of Country Fair
on May 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Lots of teachers on this blog.


Posted by Francine, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Just moved from Mission San Jose in Fremont and I saw that their high school scores were 935 or over 50 or 60 points higher than either Foothill or Amador. Shouldn't we be trying to figure out where they get there teachers from and why they are so much better than us? They have not been below 900 in years.


Posted by jay, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Also congratulations to San Ramon School District. Last year we were tied and this year they pulled ahead of Pleasanton, even though they receive significantly less money per student than Pleasanton, and they manage to maintain great financial reserves where we have almost none. It shows that more money does not always equate to better schools.


Posted by Stacy, a resident of Danbury Park
on May 21, 2009 at 9:06 pm

You know Francine has some good points so why are we patting each other on the back in Pleasanton and San Ramon when we are not close to a school 10 miles away which is also a public school?


Posted by Very Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm

San Jose High School is one of the highest scoring schools in California, year after year.
Why?
Here's the biggest reason: There is a huge Asian community that fights fiercely to get into this school. The students are extraordinarily competitive academically. I know one family that wouldn't let their child compete on a varsity team because the student's GPA had dropped to a 4.25 GPA. The students work hard, the parents push hard. The teachers are excellent too. At the end of the day, what kind of village do you want to live in?
Tip: Don't get too caught up in aggregate test scores. Focus on the results of your children.


Posted by Very Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Correction to my post above: Mission San Jose High (Fremont).


Posted by Francine, a resident of Happy Valley
on May 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm

so if I am reading this right we are ok with being ok and a the same time MSJ will kick our tails


Posted by mom, a resident of Birdland
on May 21, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Look, I just want my kids to be well-rounded with academic AND extra-curricular opportunities. Test scores are one indicator, but let's look at the big picture.


Posted by Charles - Parent and Taxpayer, a resident of Birdland
on May 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

The Tri-Valley Herald, and many other newspapers in California, reported today, May 21st, that the State Department of Education released these API scores (bravo PUSD!). The newspaper article that I read on-line also noted that the State Superintendant of Schools, Jack O'Connell, held a news conference to discuss API scores: Web Link

I simply wanted to clarify that this is a State-wide news issue, to respond to posts that allege that this is some type of calculated political action related to Measure G (which I personally support).


Posted by u2, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 12:40 am

What's up with our 2 high schools? Their scores are dropping year-after-year. Are those students getting dumber? We demand that they raise their scores so our home prices can rise.


Posted by Chew Wang, a resident of Del Prado
on May 22, 2009 at 6:47 am

Well based on reading all of the above our test scores will raise without us doing anything in terms of funding as our asian population grows yearly and with it will come success beyond our dreams!!!


Posted by Very Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 7:06 am

Hard work gets the high scores, regardless of race. Any community can strive and achieve, they just have to work at it.


Posted by Anon, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 22, 2009 at 8:49 am

Can someone tell me what the Asians are doing (inside the home) that the rest of us are not? It seems that every time I read about a math, geography, spelling, etc. contest, an Asian student is always the winner. I don't begrudge them their successes, I just want to know what they are doing differently so I can do it with my kids. Is it culture? Discipline? Innate intelligence? Or all 3?


Posted by Chew Wang, a resident of Del Prado
on May 22, 2009 at 9:30 am

I am not an expert on asian capabilities but I would guess that their parents probably have a history of not having much and have made their way by working extremely hard and view education as the ticket to success which it is. Therefore their expectations for their children are quite high. Mission San Jose High School has always excelled academically going back long before the big influx of Asian's and Indian's. That said the current combination there of parents with high expectations and a school first and other activities second, motivated kids, high achieving and fiercely competitive teachers is certainly a winning combination. I do not know how they do it but if you are a teacher and not performing at a high level your tenure in that school is not long.


Posted by doh, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

"...long before the big influx of Asian's and Indian's"

Chew on this, CW: Indians are Asians. What a shocker!

School districts with higher API scores have teachers that spend more time teaching to the tests.




Posted by bobby, a resident of Del Prado
on May 22, 2009 at 11:03 am

doh,

Not sure I buy the teach to the test bit as it sounds like jealousy more than anything else so possibly you are a teacher. You should look them up and do a bit of research as they are like a farm team it seems for Stanford, CAL, and Ivy league and their list of notable alumni is pretty impressive as they cover everything from supreme court nominees and olympic gold medal winners to corporate presidents. If we want to improve we need to find out what makes them so successful and try to implement here in Pleasanton in order to improve.


Posted by Catch a clue, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

Here's a clue...

What does it take for a native Asian to get out of their country...

THEY HAVE TO BE THE BEST.

Most of the professionals that are here are here because they worked their tales to get out.

They weren't raised with material possessions so they are hungry to excel.

That's the difference. We are lazy, our kids are lazy. We whine and complain that our kids don't excel when we don't either. We want the government to take care of us instead of bustin' our humps to excel.

Figure it out people...it's not them and what they are doing...it's YOU and what you are NOT.


Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on May 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

Rather than looking at "Asians" to see what they are doing, how about looking at yourselves? What are your priorities with your kids? What are you doing to maximize their potential? Do you know when their assignments are due? Do you know their teachers on a first name basis? How about what classes they plan on taking next year? For that matter, do you know what classes they're taking now? Ever hear of Kumon or Sylvan or any of a number of outside skill building services? Organize any study groups lately (or encourage your kids to do so)? What do they do in the summer? Summer school? Academic camps? Sit around playing computer games and watching TV? When SAT time rolls around, have they taken prep courses? Read prep books? Sat around playing computer games and watching TV?
It isn't rocket science, but it could lead to that.


Posted by c'mon now, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

is there actually more to life than tv and games?


Posted by AVHS Dad, a resident of Stoneridge Park
on May 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

AVHS Dad is a registered user.

I know, that was my life before I hit college. By the way, I LOVED college!


Posted by reality check, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 22, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Those kids at Lydiksen obviously spent too much time on tv and games. Don't they don't that they'll hurt our home prices here on the west side?


Posted by concerning parent, a resident of another community
on May 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Good job, that is why we should repeal proposition 13 to give local goverment more fung to hire better teachers and add better educational programs for our schools.


Posted by Hello??, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Didn't anyone notice above that the state announced yesterday that the 2009 API scores would be released in SEPTEMBER?

My calendar says MAY. The state website only lists 2008 scores. PW, why are you passing them off as 2009 in your article?? THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE yet...

Is it to run the scores up the flag pole right before the election to get more sympathy for Measure G?

We're not that dumb...


Posted by Bobby, a resident of Del Prado
on May 22, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Hello????,

You are 100% correct as they are last years results for school year 2007/2008 and the 2008/2009 scores are not scheduled to be release until September. Further to the discussion above regarding Mission San Jose versus us. Please take a look at the statistics within the statistics for our schools from last year.

Foothill Overall 878
Foothill Asians 936
Foothill whites 863
Foothill hispanic 784

Amador Overall 867
Amador Asians 931
Amador whites 862
Amador hispanic 770


Posted by VV parent, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on May 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

To Very Concerned: I am one who is more interested in the individual achievements of my child and could give a hoot about any API score comparison. I do think these scores are all about teaching to the test, but that's the system our government has given us and we're just eating it up.

AVHS Dad: your first post asked what's going on with Village High. Do you have no idea who attends Village High? Check it out.


Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm

@AVHS Dad

"It isn't rocket science, but it could lead to that."

Exactly. Keep up the great comments.


Posted by Wondering, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Do any colleges look at a student's individual API scores when they consider the student's application? I thought colleges looked at GPA, SAT or ACT scores and students' extracurricular activities.
I have friends who have seniors in high school, and they all say that getting accepted into first choice colleges this year was very hard and it seemed as if the students with very high GPAs and SAT scores had the edge.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm

API and APR are measurements of school performance. Explanation at: Web Link


Posted by Hello???, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Hey Bobby -

Thanks for the back up. I went back and re-read this thread...and Right Wing Extremist noticed all this first. It is AMAZING that all the posts after RWE didn't even bother to notice this manipulation of the facts by PW. It could've been a mistake...but amazingly if overlooked by "professional journalists".

I still think the PW is cheering on Measure G and it is pathetic that thier journalists lost their integrity in this.


Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 22, 2009 at 9:58 pm

@Wondering

Some very competitive technical schools, like Cal Tech, have their own tests in addition to SAT, ACT and AP tests.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 26, 2009 at 7:50 am

Pleasanton is a superb community with outstanding schools, of which we should be proud. You'll notice that many other school districts (including San Ramon) in the Bay Area have passed similar school measures to ensure the highest level of education for the next few years. If you want to see API scores -- and most importantly -- educational quality drop, there is no faster way to do it than to have 30 kids/per classroom.

YES on MEASURE G!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 26, 2009 at 8:04 am

Stacey is a registered user.

CSR and test scores do not have a direct and effective relationship. Even the Tennessee STAR suite of studies on CSR found only a "statistically significant" (not significant) improvement in test scores, but at ratios lower than what is provided with California's CSR program now.


Posted by Definition, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 6:08 pm

A result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Therefore, using your own posted reference to that study......:

It is UNLIKELY that scores improved with CSR..... BY CHANCE.


Put another way – IT IS LIKELY THEY DID.



Bottom line, there are many who are upset with the district and will vote no because they want to see more 'sacrifice'.

I will vote YES, because I do not want to see any child have to sacrifice because adults have not stepped up to the plate.


Go ahead and vote yes…and then get your hand dirty in the details and hold the district accountable. You can do it…I know you can. :-)




Posted by parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Paul, the reason that San Ramon and Livermore need parcel taxes is Pleasanton receives much more per student from the state than they do. Compared to San Ramon, we receive about $700 more per student from the state revenue limit. San Ramon's parcel tax brings them financially still less than the same point that Pleasanton receives right now.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Definition,

Here's the summary of the study: "A significantly larger percent of small-class students (52.9%) versus students who had attended regular (49.1%) and regular/aide (48.0%) classes passed the TCE Language requirement at grade 8."

"Small class" was defined at 15:1 student-teacher ratio. Not what we have in Pleasanton.
"Regular class" was 20:1. That's what we have in Pleasanton.

The difference was only roughly 4%. A statistically significant difference can be an insignificant improvement like 4%. Who cares if that's slightly above chance? It's still an insignificant difference for class sizes that we don't even have.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 26, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

My point is that "statistically significant" is not the same as significant. Why should we spend 67% more in resources (input) to get an output of only 4%?


Posted by Definition, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Hey, I just used the definition from the reference YOU posted.

There are some people that are Yes on G voters that are entitled to their opinion. You and others are against. I am a Yes on G voter.


I see a different picture than you see....and still wonder what you are doing today and in the future to make changes that you feel are necessary....other than to post over and over and over to any thread that is started about Pleasanton.

Heck, even a nice story about how well the scores turned out, could not last a day without it becoming another source for measure G arguments.

Sad, that when we actually have proof of some great achievements, that is has to denigrate to adults acting like.....(well, you know).

I hope your life is filled with enjoyment outside of Measure G discussions. Sweet dreams


Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Definition -

You said: "...even a nice story about how well the scores turned out, could not last a day without it becoming another source for measure G arguments."

As a No on G voter, I am thrilled when our schools do better, but there is no lanugage in the measure that states current CSR evels will remain regadless if the measure passes or not.

As far as this API info, it was stated several times that this info has been available for almost a year already. Why did the Pleasanton Weekly, an endorser of Measure G, choose to release this info right now when the scores are "old news".

I for one think it is pretty suspect that PW did this and classified the scores as from 08-09, even after many posters identified the error.


Posted by mixed bag to me, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 26, 2009 at 8:14 pm

teachers in the pleasanton usd as I find are a mixed bag of excellent, devoted, accessible professionals along with a fare share of unreachable, mean spirited, demanding union members hiding behind the students to get raises, better benefits, more days off, training days, sick days, etc.

You may say all organizations have this but the diff here is that the teachers have no boss with any power to redirect, demote, correct their behavior or results.

For all willingness of the school admin to help I find they have no power and in most cases are just an annoyance to the teachers. \

Raising test scores will be very difficult when the parents have to make up for bad teaching in the eves and weekends while the day at school is suboptimized.

No On G.


Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm

@Mixed

Just keeping the test scores as good as they are wouldn't be a bad thing. I don't think the union is wonderful either.


Posted by Pedro, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on May 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Russell,

I am convinced now that we should vote yes on G so that we can get you into some special ed.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Definition,

Actually, you didn't read what I was referencing. If you did, you'd know that the website I'm referencing is calling the increase "significant" instead of "statistically significant", which has a vastly different meaning since an insignificant increase can be "statistically significant". You'd also catch the earlier mistake I made because you'd know that the study only counted increases in the number of students passing a standardized test, not increases in test scores. So no, no direct relationship between CSR and test scores that I could find.

I respect that you may have a different opinion from me, but at least have the courtesy of addressing my arguments instead of me. Who I am or what I do doesn't change a conclusion from the study that CSR requires roughly a 67% increase in inputs and you get only a 4% increase in output. That's called "less than marginal". Perhaps you know of some other well formed study that finds a direct relationship between CSR and test scores? I'd have preferred if you reference it instead of wondering about how dirty my hands are. I can only wonder if you're wondering what all the voters of California are doing to get their hands dirty since turning down the State props.


Posted by Definition, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Stacey,

Nice try to deflect back onto me. Not taking that bait. I did address your argument...and defined the words YOU used.

So please, don't try to play that back on me.


You now admit a mistake - fine.

So, let's look forward: An Honest question:

What are you doing to address those issues you deem are so blatant at the district – other than to say No to G?


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 27, 2009 at 6:10 am

No on G --

Pleasanton Weekly was not the only newspaper to publish an article about API scores that week. Check out the others on news.google.com... I input the keywords "California API" and this is what I found.

Web Link

I don't think there was a conspiracy in the media to support measure G. And these articles all came out after the statewide vote on the propositions, so no conspiracy there either.

I have to go to work today. I wish I had more time to discuss different studies of CSR. Maybe another time.


Posted by NO ON G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

@ Definition
Where is Stacey saying she made a mistake?
Seems like the only mistake she's made is trying to engage in an intelligent discussion with someone who is just another name caller.
Try to take a tip from Sandy - a Yes on G supporter that sticks to the discussion and engages in productive conversation. Opponents to measure G don't agree with her, but they do respect her.


Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 11:40 am

Hi Sandy!

Here is the website that shows that the 2008-09 scores will not be released until THIS September. How is the PW calling them 08-09 scores in thier article?

Web Link

They wrote the article, they are responsible for the info they give out, don't you think?

Have a good day!


Posted by No on G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 11:44 am

Hi NO ON G!

I have yet been able to catch you on a thread to tell you how hard I laughed out loud the other night when you made the thumb sucking comment. Only a parent of could relate to that comment! Too funny :)

Actually, I laughed so loudly, that my spouse came to the computer to find out what I was laughing at and they thought you were great!

I agree with your comment about Sandy. She is so solid in sticking to the coversation. I wish I could be so disciplined, I just get fired up at some of the comments in these posts!

Have a great day!


Posted by Definition, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm

@ No on G



Read Stacey's post again - she said "the earlier mistake I made"

(again - her words, not mine). I then made reference to that remark of hers, while pointing out the definition of something she was using to bolster her argument.

She came back with additional clarification because I brought that up.


Then, she proceeded to say I should show her courtesy…….? Not sure what she was referring too in that one either?

Name calling - what name did I call her? (insert scratching head icon here).

I even encouraged her to get in there and mix it up with the district, versus those that merely post up here and think anything will change because they posted up on a forum. I have asked for forward thinking…..I guess you can't win with some people.



You guys do really 'read' to much into the posts around here.



Have a great day.


Posted by NO ON G, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm

I see...Stacey is pointing out her own mistake and acknowledging it, not a mistake you pointed out. Sorry about my mistake Definition.
I think it's the whole getting your hands dirty comment that is a bit offensive - it summons up images of dirty politicians. But will acknowledge that wasn't your intent and apologize for the assumption.
I do wish Stacey would get involved with the district and the budget process. She seems to have a good grasp on California politics and finances. Maybe she will after the election when the discussions are less heated, and we go back to being a community working together.
You have a great day too. :)


Posted by A Lydiksen Mom, a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on May 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm

A couple of people have wondered about the lower (although, still excellent) scores at Lydiksen - what most people don't realize is that Lydiksen has a very large special education population - there are 4 different special day classes, and all of those students take the SAME standardized test that all other students take. We are very proud of ALL of our students at Lydiksen, and we have an amazing parent community as well.


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