The California Department of Education has released its 2008 Growth API scores for Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, which measure yearly improvement from the state's 2007 Base API scores. The API (Academic Performance Index) scores are considered the cornerstone of California's Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999, and measure the academic performance and growth of the state's schools according to a range of academic factors.
The Los Altos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Palo Alto elementary school districts all maintained district API averages above 900, an excellent score (which is par for the course in these districts).
The competitive Cupertino Union schools improved from an already-elite score of 930 to 941, and its border school Stocklmeir Elementary --- which students who are living in Sunnyvale can attend --- notched up 13 points to 959. To offer some perspective as to the strength of these scores, the average state API for all grades is 742, up from 728 last year.
This year's score report also reflects improvements at both Cumberland and Cherry Chase, the two top elementary schools in Sunnyvale. Both broke the 900 mark once again, with respective scores of 920 and 909.
Also emerging are up-and-coming schools to watch. Take Ellis Elementary in Sunnyvale, which entered the 21st century with a score in the mid-700s and now consistently scores in excess of 800. This year, Ellis improved 17 points with a score of 831.
The Campbell Union Elementary District's Forest Hill is another school on the move. At a 2008 score of 888, Forest Hill is inching closer to breaking the 900 barrier. Up from 879 last year, Forest Hill was a low-800s school in 2000. We'll continue to keep an eye on these continually improving school systems as they maintain their march up the API ladder.