PAUSD Board of Trustees25 Churchill AvenuePalo Alto, CA 94306Cc: Superintendent K. Skelly
Subject: Another Look At The 2012 PAUSD API Data
Elected PAUSD Board Members:Having watched the recent PAUSD Board of Trustees meeting (Oct. 23
) where the 2012API/SAT/AP data was presented by the PAUSD Administration and discussed by theBoard, I found myself dissatisfied with both the Administration’s offerings, and theBoard’s discussion of the data and its implications. Given that he STAR/API dataavailable to the public is quite extensive, this data offers the possibilities of far greater insight into our schools than this presentation/analysis, as provided by the PAUSD.The following short paper about the 2012 API data presentation is being forwarded for your consideration about how this extremely important data could be better presented tothe public.
Better Analysis/Data Presentation Of Academic PerformanceData Needed
The PAUSD student performance data (API/SAT/AP) recently presented to the Board,and the public, seems very narrowly focused, as to not provide a very wide view of theAPI data available--which offers many insights into the schools around the state, as wellas the PAUSD. While the data presented by the PAUSD Administration doubtless is allcorrect—the question as to what goal of the presentation might be, and how this data is toused to better understand, and manage the schools, seems unclear.For instance, the so-called “achievement gap” continues to plague this district. Althoughit is difficult to fully understand why this “gap” exists, given the very high levels of per-student spending in this district—if per-student spending is really the only variabledriving high student performance. What information is there in the data files released bythe State that is not offered to the public by the PAUSD that would help to understand thenature of the “gap”, and what progress, if any, various programs, be they targeted, or broad-brushed, might have in eliminating this gap? Given the data in the API files, andthe STAR test data files, it would seem that the Board would have demanded better modeling of the educational process by now—drawn from these very comprehensive datasources.