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State report: Good, bad news for Galt schools

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Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:00 am

When compared to similar schools, Galt Joint Union Elementary district schools mostly rank in the top 70 percentile or above with the exception of Marengo Ranch Elementary, according to new state data.

At the high school level, it is a mixed bag. Galt High School, too, is in the top 70 percentile, but Liberty Ranch High School is in the bottom 20 percent.

California Department of Education officials released the 2012 school rankings on Friday, failing to provide the analysis they typically do when new base Academic Performance Index scores are released each spring.

The index ranks schools on both a statewide and similar schools basis, which is how a school compares to 100 schools with similar characteristics, including demographics.

The highest ranking is 10 and the lowest is 1, and each level equals 10 percent of the schools in the group.

There are always schools on the bottom, officials said, even if they show great improvement. When you divide all the schools into 10 groups, there will always be a group of ones, a group of fives and a group of 10s.

However, just because a school is at the low end doesn’t mean they aren’t making progress, though the goal for all schools should be closer to the top of the rankings.

“I always tell the principals that the similar school rankings need to be five or higher ... and you want to be in the top 50 percent,” Galt elementary curriculum director Judy Bullard said.

Marengo, Lake Canyon, River Oaks and McCaffrey were each ranked in the top 70 percentile compared to schools statewide. Valley Oaks, however, is in the top 50 percentile, while Greer is in the 60th percentile.

“I see we have all but one that has moved past the 50th percentile. There’s some good news,” Bullard said, referring to Valley Oaks. “We’re excited for all the schools that have made progress.”

She plans to present a report to the school board next month.

When compared to all high schools across California, Galt and Liberty Ranch landed in the middle with a 5 and 6, respectively. Because it is a continuation high school, Estrellita is not ranked by the state.

Officials also released base API scores representative of results from last year’s testing.

Visit the California Department of Education website for reports on the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District and the Galt Joint Union High School District.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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