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Pleasanton schools perform well in state testing

Four schools drop but still well above state average

Pleasanton schools did well on the state's Academic Performance Index (API) tests, but some areas still need work, according to state documents and local officials.

Overall, the district's average climbed by 5 points, and all schools except for Village High are well above the state's goal, a score of 800 or better. Pleasanton's API average is 906; in 2009 its score was 901.

Seven Pleasanton schools made advances with some gaining 10 points or more, including Hearst and Vintage Hills elementary schools, and Harvest Park and Pleasanton middle schools. Three schools -- Mohr Elementary, Hart Middle and Foothill High -- scored the same as last year.

API scores dropped at four elementary schools: Fairlands, Lydiksen, Valley View and Walnut Grove, with Valley View dropping 9 points.

Overall math and science scores have been going up, according to Cindy Galbo, assistant superintendent of educational services. She said 85 percent of eighth-graders are taking algebra, with 70 percent scoring proficient or advanced; and 7 percent of eighth-graders are taking geometry, with 100 percent proficient or advanced.

"In science, 90 percent of our fifth-graders are proficient or advanced, which are some of the highest scores in the state," Galbo said.

Galbo traced the drops at some schools to three subgroups.

"Our socio-economically disadvantaged students are significantly below the rest of our population," she said. "And then our students with disabilities, they score below average."

She said the third group is Hispanics. But, Galbo said, all three groups have been the focus of extra attention from the district and the problem with all three groups is statewide, not just in Pleasanton, where some gains have been made.

"We see success. Our subgroups are improving," Galbo said. "There's still a gap, but the scores are going up."

Due to an error made by the state, Village High shows a drop of 102 points, Galbo explained.

"We've resubmitted our data to the state and they'll recalculate the score," she said.

PLEASANTON SCORES FOR 2009, 2010

Pleasanton USD 901 (2009) 906 (2010)

Alisal Elementary 885 (2009) 893(2010)

Donlon Elementary 924 (2009) 930 (2010)

Fairlands Elementary 947 (2009) 944 (2010)

Hearst Elementary 941 (2009) 951 (2010)

Lydiksen Elementary 903 (2009) 898 (2010)

Mohr Elementary 961 (2009) 961 (2010)

Valley View Elementary 911 (2009) 902 (2010)

Vintage Hills Elementary 922 (2009) 934 (2010)

Walnut Grove Elementary 930 (2009) 924 (2010)

Hart Middle 899 (2009) 899 (2010)

Harvest Park Middle 921 (2009) 933 (2010)

Pleasanton Middle 922 (2009) 932 (2010)

Amador Valley High 879 (2009) 883 (2010)

Foothill High 889 (2009) 889 (2010)

Village High* 629 (2009) 527 (2010)

*This API score is currently under review. Revised CAHSEE data has been submitted to the CDE that may cause the API to be recalculated upward

Comments

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

I am just horrified to see how low Village High has done with their API scores. There must be some way the district can make some improvements to their teaching methods where they can segregate the promising kids from the not so promising so that the promising kids have more chances to develop quicker. I believe they are held back because of this.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

PUSD is already sending those "bad apples" to Village. What more segregation can they possibly do?


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Ponderosa
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

To the resident of Birdland...Students attend Village High School, the district's alternative school, when, for a variety of reasons, they have been unsuccessful in the comprehensive schools. This is part of the reason why the API of this high school is lower than the other high schools in the district.


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned2
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

Please read the article again more closely. Ms. Galbo reports there was a mistake at the state level and the Village scores may be incorrect.


Like this comment
Posted by GO!
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Sep 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

GO PUSD TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND STUDENTS!!!!!


Like this comment
Posted by JESSICA
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

"Bad apples"

How can anyone class children as bad apples? It breaks my heart that people think my kid is a bad apple, just because he attends school at Village. This so called bad apple has spent his summer helping the fire department, and is also part of a travel baseball team. People really need to find out about Village High School before they make stupid comments. There are many reasons why some students go to Village. Many of these kids struggle, and they can't get the help they need in the regular system. My child might not graduate from the regular system, but he has worked hard at Village to become a good student who never misses a day of school. Just because you attend Foothill or Amador doesn't make you a shiny apple. My son is a happy, respectful and well rounded kid, and in no way is he a so called bad apple. This kid might save your life one day, as he sets his goal on joining the fire service.


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Posted by To Jessica
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

Well said, Jessica! I went to an event that was catered by Village High. I had never met so many respectful kids in my life. They did an amazing job, had wonderful social skills, and should be complimented for not giving up, despite the horrible assumptions made by other members of this community.


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Posted by Glenn Wohltmann
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Please be aware about the asterisk that followed the Village scores. According to the PUSD, there was a problem with the way the state scored Village.

When the true numbers come in, I'll write a follow up to explain exactly what happened and what the real numbers are. Expect them to be much higher, although Village will likely remain below the 700 API goal from the state, as is the case with most continuation high schools across the state.


Like this comment
Posted by Lola
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:51 am

You are absolutely correct Jessica, how could adults lable children as "bad apples"? One of my children attends Village High School, she always scores Proficient or Advanced on her Star testing. She is the most well mannered child,she is very kind and considerate of others, she just needed a different approach to complete her high school. I am very proud to say that she if flourishing at Village. Remember the saying about throwing stones if you live in a glass house? Be careful of what you say about others, because it WILL come back to you. And really to the individual that called the children bad apples is your child really so perfect? Oh, I don't think so.............


Like this comment
Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm

For the few who seem to think the students at Village High are "bad apples", I'll respond with a quote from Bruce Springsteen:

"School is a system and you either fit into the system, or you don't. And I didn't."

Maybe the Village kids just don't fit the cookie-cutter mold?

And thanks to those of you who spoke against the judging and labeling of the Village High kids.

The world doesn't live and die by API scores, you know.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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