API scores edge higher Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on May 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm
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
Posted by Pleasanton resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 John, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, 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 Francine, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, 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 the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 Very Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
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 Charles - Parent and Taxpayer, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, 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 Anon, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, 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 the Del Prado neighborhood, 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 bobby, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on May 22, 2009 at 11:03 am
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 the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 the Stoneridge Park neighborhood, on May 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm AVHS Dad is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
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 Bobby, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on May 22, 2009 at 3:22 pm
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.
Posted by VV parent, a member of the Valley View Elementary School community, 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 Wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 Hello???, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 Paul, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, 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.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 26, 2009 at 8:04 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
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 parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
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 Definition, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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 the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm
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 the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
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 Sandy, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, 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.
Posted by No on G, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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!
Posted by Definition, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by NO ON G, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by A Lydiksen Mom, a member of the Lydiksen Elementary School community, 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.