Andrea Ruse

Manhattan Beach schools rank in state’s top 10 percent

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Manhattan Beach Unified School District’s Academic Performance Index scores ranked each school in the top 10 percent of the state. Robinson and Pacific elementary schools also scored in the top 10 percent when compared to 100 schools with similar demographics.

Manhattan Beach schools ranked in the top ten percent of schools statewide last year, based on Academic Performance Index scores, according to a May 5 report issued by the California Department of Education. Two schools also recorded high marks in a separate report comparing schools of similar demographics.

All seven of the city’s schools — five elementary schools, Manhattan Beach Middle School and Mira Costa High School — scored 10 on a scale of one to 10 in 2010 statewide rankings. A score of 10 places a school in the top 10 percent in the state.

Robinson and Pacific elementary schools scored 10 in the more challenging comparison to 100 other schools in the state with similar socioeconomic profiles. Pacific scored a “10-10” for the third year in a row, while Robinson raised its similar school ranking from to 9 in 2009 to 10 in 2010.

“I am extremely proud of our schools’ API scores, statewide rankings, and similar schools rankings,” said Bill Fournell, president of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District’s Board of Trustees, in a statement. “These results are reflective of our talented students, involved and supportive parents, and outstanding teachers.”

The California Department of Education in September released “base” API scores for state schools, a report that assigns scores to schools and districts based on students’ performances on a battery of standardized tests.

Robinson scored highest of all schools in the district last year, at 965, within an API score range of 200 to 1,000.

In other similar school rankings, Meadows score decreased from 10 to 6 and Pennekamp’s from 10 to 9. Mira Costa High School’s ranking increased from 7 to 8, while Grand View’s and MBMS’ scores stayed the same at 9 and 8, respectively.

“We are proud to be a district where all of our schools earn a statewide rank of 10, but we are not satisfied,” said MBUSD Superintendent Mike Matthews. “We need to continue examining exemplary teaching practices from our own teachers and from teachers across the state to order to provide our students with even more challenging and engaging teaching and learning every day.”

The API is used to measure compliance with both state standards and federal No Child Left Behind requirements. Both require that all schools reach 800 by 2014.

All MBUSD schools have exceeded these requirements and the district improved overall from 914 to 927. The high score came despite sharp cuts to education funding in the last three years.

For more information, visit www.cde.ca.gov. ER

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