Lodi Unified School District met only 34 of its 46 goals set by the government, compared to 39 of 46 the year before. That's what figures released Tuesday in the state's annual Accountability Progress Report show.
The so-called Growth API rate reflects fewer goals being met in a district that had met all but one of the requirements in 2007.
Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said the bar is set at about 11 percent higher each year, so it becomes more difficult to reach the targets, especially if the target was not met the previous year.
"That would mean the growth needed would be more than 11 percent," she said.
Although they are not meeting the state-set goals, this year's report shows that Lodi's 21,087 tested students as a whole are improving. The districtwide Academic Performance Index (API) score - calculated differently than AYPs - rose slightly.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools and school districts to meet a variety of academic performance goals in order to reach its Academic Yearly Progress rate. None of the area's three largest districts met their AYP, although more schools locally met the threshold.
"We have a lot to celebrate and also many challenges to work on this year," said Nichols-Washer, who pointed to two schools - Lois E. Borchardt and Julia Morgan elementary schools - that exceeded the 800 AYP goal, with Tokay Colony and George Lincoln Mosher elementary schools extremely close to 800. "What is most exciting is the tremendous growth achieved by 14 sites."
Heritage Primary School went up by 63 points, Lakewood Elementary School by 42, Plaza Robles High School by 43, Delta Sierra Middle School by 43, Christa McAuliffe Middle School by 35, and Liberty High School by 83.
"Also, our schools that were in the 800s last year continue to show strong growth," said the superintendent.
Nichols-Washer commended the district's teachers, principals, support staff, students and parents for their focused efforts on instruction and learning. "Everyone worked extremely hard last year under very difficult circumstances to make sure that student needs were addressed," she said.
This year, there are plans already in place to address the specific needs of English-language learners. "We are also going to analyze our intervention programs for students reading below grade level (since) the data also shows that math at the middle and high school levels is an area that needs to be addressed," she said.
What is the API?API scores are released twice a year to rank schools and track growth at a statewide level. The first, released in the spring, is a base figure, while the ones released this week reveal if the school is improving and has met its growth targets. Those make up the AYP scores.
Both are calculated by the California Department of Education and help determine how much state funding a campus can receive based on what goals each school has met.
Scores from the California Standards Tests, which are part of the STAR program, and the state-mandated high school exit exam figures are used to determine a school's Academic Performance Index, or API. Both CAHSEE and STAR results were released last month.
This year's growth rate was calculated from results of statewide testing in the spring. For more information about how figures are calculated, visit www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/.
Who's the best?The state index ranges from 200 to 1,000 points, and although all schools would like to score at or above the 800-point benchmark, few Galt or Lodi schools have achieved that goal.
Forty-two percent of all California schools are now at or above the overall statewide target API of 800, compared to 24 percent in Lodi Unified.
The district's schools with the highest APIS for 2009 are University Public and Elkhorn with scores of 939 and 981, respectively.
Galt elementary district shows progressStudents in the Galt Joint Union Elementary District met 23 of the 25 state-set goals.
When it came to AYP scores, Lake Canyon and Valley Oaks elementary schools saw the largest gain, from 792 to 826 and 737 to 769, respectively.
Two schools, however, fell. River Oaks Elementary School - which scored at or above the statewide performance target of 800 in 2008 - fell 25 points, while McCaffrey Middle School dropped 37.
Galt Joint Union Elementary School Superintendent Karen Schauer chalks McCaffrey's drop up to changes during the 2008-09 school year, the first year two middle schools merged into one without sixth-grade students.
She is confident there will be improvement next year based upon increased attention to instructional quality and ongoing monitoring of individual and subgroup student performance.
She is proud that the district now has three schools - Lake Canyon, Marengo Ranch and River Oaks elementary schools - that have exceeded the state's target rate, but recognizes there is still work to be done in meeting the AYP target for students with disabilities.
"It truly takes a learning community to support all children learning, and we are taking bold steps to strengthen student achievement," Schauer said.
The district has already put into place efforts to specifically monitor and support the ongoing performance of every student and every subgroup, including students with disabilities, according to the superintendent.
Among those is the new Great First Teaching program, the district's major goal to strengthen student achievement through coaching, in-class instructional assistant support and on-going data use.
Galt high school district challenging stateGalt Joint Union High School District met 19 of its 22 government-set goals. However the last two years, the district had met all of them.
The figures do not take into account scores from continuation schools, so Estrellita's past scores weren't calculated into the AYP.
This year, Galt High School's score went up by two points while Estrellita High School dropped 27. Last year, the continuation school tumbled close to 150 points in the annual progress report after making huge gains in 2007. Like Liberty High School in Lodi, however, the testing pool is quite small.
Audrey Kilpatrick, the district's interim superintendent, was still reviewing data Tuesday and plans to give a report to the board at the Oct. 13 meeting. At that time, she said, the district will address any specific target areas in need.
Meanwhile, the district plans to challenge the department of education's claim that it did not meet the AYP on English-language arts section. "We are in contact with them and hope to have this resolved by the board meeting," Kilpatrick added.