• SMUSD Is Tops In State for Eleventh Consecutive Year, According to API


    by Mitch Lehman

    Certainly, San Marino Unified School District administrators and and site personnell are waiting for the year when the SMUSD loses its remarkable stranglehold on the #1 ranking in the State of California.

    That sentiment will thankfully have to wait another year as the district once again claimed the top spot among the state’s unified school districts, posting an overall score of 953 out of a possible 1,000 on the Academic Performance Index, or API – six points ahead of second place finisher La Cañada.

    “The school district’s continued standing as the top performing academic district in the state as measured by the API is continued evidence that our students are receiving a rigorous education and are successfully meeting the challenge of that rigor,” Superintendent Loren Kleinrock told The Tribune. “This ongoing success is due to a time-tested “formula:” Motivated students, high expectations, talented teachers, a great support staff, and a partnership with the community that helps provide the resources necessary for schools to allow each student to reach his or her potential. It’s great that the API validates our efforts.”

    The API produces a single number, ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1,000, which reflects a school’s, and a district’s performance level based on the results of statewide testing. The API is calculated by converting a student’s performance on statewide assessments across multiple content areas into points on the API scale. These points are then averaged across all students and all tests. Its purpose is to measure the academic performance and growth of schools.

    The API was created by the Public School Accountability Act, a state law passed in 1999 that created a new academic accountability system for K-12 public schools in California.

    The 2013 top scoring unified school districts in California include: San Marino,  with an API of 953; La Cañada, with 947; Manhattan Beach, 935; Piedmont, with an API of 933, Palo Alto at 932 and Arcadia, with an API of 929.

    Other San Gabriel Valley districts include South Pasadena, which checked in wlwvwnth with an AP{I of 920.

    “We celebrate a high level of success and are thankful for our school community support,” said Dr. Gary McGuigan, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. “Our API growth score of 953 attests to not only the overall excellence of the academic program, but also to the intellectual growth made by students during their years in this district. Our students, faculty, and support staff are to be commended for their hard work and dedication. As stated in the district’s strategic plan summary, the San Marino Unified School District is committed to ‘delivering a world-class education with recognized excellence in academics, arts, and athletics.’ As the State’s top performing unified school district for eleven consecutive years, there is no doubt we are committed to protecting and preserving “a legacy of excellence.”

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