Education Trust-West, a statewide organization that evaluates the performance of colored and low-income students at California schools, recently revealed its grading of state school districts in “A Report Card on District Achievement: How Low-income, African-American, and Latino Students Fare in California School Districts.”
The organization gave (SRVUSD) a No. 1 overall ranking for Contra Costa County and No. 2 overall ranking for all of Northern California. However, the district received lower grades in the improvement category for colored and low-income students, as well as in the category that evaluates achievement gaps between African-American and white students.
School district spokesman Terry Koehne said even though the district appreciates the high rankings, it recognizes the areas for improvement.
“While we’re pleased by (the overall rankings), there’s still an achievement gap,” Koehne said. “It’s good, but it’s still not good enough for our standards.”
The district received an overall grade of C+, but only seven districts throughout the state received a higher overall grade of B or B-.
Education Trust-West also graded districts in four other categories: Performance, in which SRVUSD received an A for both non-white and low-income students; Improvement, in which the district earned a D for colored students and a C for low-income students; Achievement Gaps, which resulted in a D grade for African-American to white students and a B grade for Latino to white students; and College-Readiness, in which the district received a B for non-white student college readiness.
Koehne pointed out that when a district’s students are doing well to begin with, it’s difficult to excel in the improvement category.
“We’re a high achieving district, so it’s hard to see significant gains each year when you’re already high achieving,” he said.
The Performance, Improvement and Achievement Gap results are based on Academic Performance Index (API) scores, which are determined by students’ state test scores, and the College Readiness results are based on the rate at which students complete the coursework required for admission to University of California and California State University systems, the report states.
Koehne said to successfully prepare colored and low-income students for college, SRVUSD is focused on effective hiring and its use of data.
“We use multiple tests and types of data when we measure our students,” he said. “That way, we can really drill down to where the issues are and identify intervention strategies.”
The link to the report card can be found here.