Posting the API scores for San Carlos schools each year always comes with a great deal of apprehension. While I am always happy with the fact that San Carlos schools score so well, I want to urge everyone to understand that the API score of a particular school is not the only guideline that should be used when evaluating a potential school. In fact, the API score is one of many factors that should be examined when considering the overall performance of a school. In my business, buyers and sellers seem to live and die with APIs, which is a mistake. As is the case with most major decisions, doing research beyond the headlines can prove quite helpful in fully understanding the situation.
For example, when examining API scores it is helpful to understand the unique factors each school brings to the table when the tests are taken. Expanding upon this point, one San Carlos school which saw a drop in their API score this year is Brittan Acres. BA scored an 870, down 37 points from 907 in 2009. However, the drop does not seem nearly as dramatic when the following message from Principal John Triska is taken into account:
“As many of you know, we have been expecting a lowered API for the 2009-10 STAR tests. This is because our population changed significantly last year when our school district’s 2nd – 4th grade Special Day Classes were moved to BA to better meet the needs of students with learning disabilities. As a result, we have a much larger number of students whose test scores tend to be significantly lower (but not always) than the general population.
The newspapers will soon run all the area schools’ API numbers. When you see BA’s score, please be prepared for a large dip. Again, this was anticipated ever since the district made the decision to place Special Day Classes at BA.
I think you know how proud I am of our school, and the outstanding work that is done here to educate all our students. In no way should you perceive this drop in our scores to be a signal that BA has somehow “lost” its excellence. I assure you we are still the same, very functional school you woke up to this morning, before reading this news.”
Another notable score change (in the opposite direction) was Heather School which scored an 861 in 2009 and a 921 in the newly released scores.
Below are all of the scores for San Carlos schools and schools utilized by San Carlos residents:
|School||2009 Score||2010 Score||Difference|
As a property owner and parent of an elementary-aged child I am thrilled with the performance of all SC schools. I hope the community recognizes how heavily the schools have relied and will continue to rely upon SCEF and each school’s PTA to maintain the academic resources that are part of the foundation that makes these scores possible (although as pointed out API scores do not an education make).