Memo:To:Palo Alto Unified School District Board of TrusteesFm: Wayne Martin/Palo Alto, CADt:January 4, 2012Re:Student Performance Distribution in Six-County San FranciscoBay Area Schools Based On API Scores.Relative to the issue of whether or not to require Algebra II as a requirement for graduation in the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD), background data abouteducational attainment, costs, and parent involvement in the educational “model” is beingsubmitted to the PAUSD Board of Trustees for its consideration. This particular document contains information about student performance within school districts in thesix-county San Francisco Bay Area that can be seen as a “top-down” view of not onlystudent achievement within the districts of each County, but also the “performance gap”that exists in many school districts.
The California Academic Performance Index (API) documents student performance atthe data level (of granularity) of “school”, which typically involves 200-300 students for elementary schools, increasing to upwards of 2000-3000 students for high schools. Whenattempting to understand the effectiveness of the “educational delivery model”,aggregating API scores within school districts, and counties, can be instructive.Table.1, below, provides a high-level view of the educational achievement, and per-student costs, of the six-county, San Francisco Bay Area schools:
API Scores vs Cost-to-Educate Recap (2011)
CountyNumber of DistrictsAvg.ExpenseHighAPILowAPI%Districts> 800%Districts< 800
San Mateo 23 $10,318 969 575 58.3 41.7SanFrancisco 2 $9,715 796 412 0 100Santa Cruz 12 $9,355 925 601 66.7 33.3Santa Clara 31 $9,204 969 420 62.5 34.5Alameda 18 $8,993 939 474 47.4 52.6ContraCosta 18 $8,153 957 605 57.9 42.1
Aggregating student performance at to high a “level”, such as at the political unit of “county” can also be somewhat misleading, since there are so many factors involved,such as parent education, and socio-economics, that result in more geographicdistributions of student achievement.