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Alhambra Unified tops western San Gabriel Valley schools in scores improvement

The Alhambra Unified School District had the largest growth on a standardized text measuring math and English performance, at 12 points, of schools in the Western San Gabriel Valley, according to recently released state data. (Click for complete results by school for AUSD).

The Academic Performance Index (API) is released yearly with the goal of measuring academic growth. The 2011 district average, at 828, is significantly above the statewide target of 800. Despite the improvement, the district remains in its same position as last year in the lower achieving half of school districts in the area, trailing San Gabriel, Temple City, South Pasadena, Arcadia, and San Marino. The gap in the area scores is large; San Marino, at 955, has the highest score in California.

Although the AUSD has experienced growth overall, it has been uneven. Some schools, most notably San Gabriel High School which jumped by 38 points, showed significant improvement. But nine schools decreased their scores, including three elementary schools which dropped by more than 10 points. All regular schools met growth targets.

With its yearly gain, San Gabriel High school surged ahead of Alhambra High School. Both schools are below the statewide target, but San Gabriel is now only two points shy at 798. Though not as strong an increase as San Gabriel, Alhambra High also saw an increase of 18 points, now scoring 780. Mark Keppel's improved by five points, but is by far the highest achieving school at 850. 

Meanwhile, among elementary schools there is a large difference between Brightwood Elementary, the only school in the district to top 900 to Emery Park Elementary, which just hit the statewide benchmark at 803. Emery Park also suffered the biggest drop in API scores of any school in the district, falling by 27 points from last year.

The state determines API based on the results of the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) tests and the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

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