Students continue upward trend in API, AYP scores

Taft City School District test scores keep moving in the right direction.

Two of the three major standardized test measures released Thursday show a continuing trend of improvement.

Four of the district’s six schools showed improvement on the API state test and the district failed to meet its Annual Yearly Progress, or AYP, in the federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks but did makes gains.

“In 2010 we were the second worst achieving district out of 90 (in the county),” said Supt. Ron Bryant. “Over the last two years there has been some tremendous growth. I’m optimistic. I’m excited.”

The API and AYP results reflect solid gains, he said.

“They really do have a lot of positive things to say about the district. What it comes down to is what’s happening in the classroom. Kids are learning.”

Julie Graves, who oversees the standardized testing program for the district, said Taft City improved on it API rating from 720 last year to 753 this year. The target is 800.

The biggest improvements were made by Lincoln Junior High and Roosevelt School, she said.

On the AYP the district met 22 of its 25 targets, Graves said.

“We missed it by three,” she said. “We have some needs that we have to address, particularly with English learners.”

But, she added, “there are a lot of things to be proud of here.”

The district has ramped up its efforts to bring English learners up to speed.

Graves did not reveal details because of an embargo placed on release of the AIP and AYP scores. See Tuesday’s edition of the Taft Midway Driller for details of all Westside area school test scores.