The O.C. Register published their latest ranking of Orange County’s middle schools and the news was not great for public schools in Santa Ana, “The 10 lowest-ranked middle schools are clustered in Anaheim Union High, La Habra City, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified and Santa Ana Unified districts; none posted an API score approaching 800, the state’s minimum target for all California schools.”
There was a glimmer of good news though. Mendez Fundamental Intermediate improved their API score, from 813 to 829. But they did not meet the Federal No Child Left Behind program goals. Only 56% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra. They reported 61 suspensions last year.
Here are the rest of the SAUSD’s middle school ranking results:
- Another one of the SAUSD’s fundamental middle schools, Douglas MacArthur, also increased their API score, from 849 to 858. But only 44.7% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra. They reported 38 suspensions last year.
- But Villa Intermediate Fundamental came in at 775 on their API – an improvement on last year’s 759 but it is still under the state’s minimum API target of 800. They reported 123 suspensions.
- Carr Intermediate increased their API score as well, from 723 to 755, but they remain below the state’s minimum target of 800 API. Only 42% of their 8th graders were proficient in algebra. They reported an astounding 427 suspensions!
- McFadden Intermediate also increased their API score, from 711 to 741. Only 45% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra. They reported 197 suspensions.
- Sierra Intermediate, which now calls itself Sierra Preparatory Academy, reported a lower API, which fell from 693 to 691. Only 15% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra and they reported 99 suspensions. However Sierra holds an 8 out of 10 similar-schools ranking, meaning it scored in the 80th percentile among California
- schools with similar demographics.
- Willard Intermediate’s API dropped too, from 658 to 652. Only 6% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra and they reported 241 suspensions.
- Lathrop Intermediate’s API jumped from 649 to 685, but they remain far below the state’s target of 800 API. Only 23% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra and they reported a whopping 374 suspensions.
- Spurgeon Intermediate’s API came in at 658, versus 656 last year. Only 23% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra and they reported 261 suspensions.
- Finally, the Orange County Educational Arts Academy, which I believe is a charter school in the SAUSD, increased their API from 768 to 794, just below the state’s target minimum of 800 API. Only 21% of their 8th graders are proficient in algebra and they reported no suspensions and a truancy rate of only 1%.
The Santa Ana Educators Association – the teachers’ union – keeps endorsing the SAUSD School Board incumbents every year, so they own some of this stink. I have high hopes that new Trustee Cecilia Iglesias will actually hold the district accountable for these results. I have low expectations from Trustees John Palacio and Audrey Noji, who only offer excuses and puffed up accolades when asked about these results.
Middle school success is vital to our kids. This is when we lose many of them. If they succed at Middle School the odds are much greater that they will go on to college and to good professional careers.