LAUSD increases Academic Performance Index

LOS ANGELES The API charts the progress of public school students in California. The state target is 800 points. This year, the number of LAUSD schools earning or exceeding that score climbed to 173 (28 percent), 18 more schools than the previous year. More than half of LAUSD schools scored an API of 750 or above.

"There is much to celebrate in LAUSD with the release of this data," said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines. "The overall score of 709 points indicates that our students are indeed continuing to make significant academic progress and at a faster pace than in past years."

Notably, test scores at five of the district's lowest-performing schools improved. That means the LAUSD can keep operational control of the schools. Audubon Middle School, Harte Prep Middle School, Huntington Park Senior High School, Los Angeles Senior High School and Woodcrest Elementary all scored higher than the cutoff mark of 600 on the Academic Performance Index.

Under the Public School Choice Initiative approved by the LAUSD board a year ago, the district could relinquish control of so-called "focus schools" -- campuses with below-600 API scores -- to charter schools, groups of teachers and administrators, and nonprofit organizations with innovative ideas for improving student performance. Charters and nonprofits are not bound by the LAUSD's union contracts and could potentially replace all the teachers in any campus they take over.

"I congratulate these schools for their growth in student achievement and hope it will become a trend with the help of extra support from the district," Cortines said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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