Fremont sees gains, losses on API and state exams

Fremont sees gains, losses on API and state exams

The 2011 Academic Performance Index and California Standardized Test results are in. Two Fremont schools improved moderately and one fell slightly in their Academic Performance Index rankings.

Media Academy scored a 613 out of a possible 1,000, down six points from last year. College Preparatory & Architecture Academy gained nine points in 2011 and is now tied with Media. Mandela High School Law & Public Service Academy’s score was three points higher than the previous year, up to 536.

“The drop [for Media Academy] was so small I wouldn’t call it a drop,” said Fremont Federation Principal Daniel Hurst. “The gains made over the years were maintained.”
The Academic Performance Index is calculated with results from the California Standards Tests (CST), and, for high schools, include the percentage of students who pass the California High School Exit Examination as sophomores. Each school is assigned a number from 200 to 1,000. Schools that reach 800 or higher have met the state’s target. None of the district’s high schools, however, are above the state target.

Fremont Federation’s three schools saw a mix of higher and lower scores on the 2011 CSTs. Mandela’s Algebra II scores dropped by 32.7 points for sophomores while life science scores went up 14.2 points.

CPAA’s World History scores went up. Freshman scores rose 38.2 points and sophomore scores improved by 20.6 points. Geometry scores for freshmen fell by 15.5 points.

Media Academy’s CST score has improved in science, English and history.

The school saw an average 25-point increase for juniors and a 12-point increase for freshmen in English Language Arts.

“It’s wonderful news,” said English teacher Candice Valenzuela. “Students saw the value of education and pushed themselves on the test.”

Media Academy scores on biology and life sciences tests also went up.

Crystal Lopez, now a Media Academy junior, scored “advanced” on the biology test last year and says she is proud of her classmates.

“I knew they were going to try their best, but I never thought they would actually reach their goals of high test scores,” Lopez said.

Eighty percent of Media students taking the general life science test scored a “basic” or above, which was the best percentage of any of the 11 tests.

“The biggest reason for the growth is [due to] science teachers working together for the past four years,” said Sarah Mazzotta, who taught chemistry before becoming vice principal this year.

“By the time the juniors came to my class, they knew the type of rigor that was necessary to be successful in science,” she said. “I had a great set of students.”

However, Media students scored lower on Geometry than the previous year. Fifty-four percent of Geometry students scored a “far below basic” on the test.

Although Fremont had mostly higher test scores, Hurst thinks students can do even better on tests.

“We don’t want good, we want great,” said Hurst.  “Students on campus have the potential to do that.”