Eagle Rock Schools Improve Academic Performance

Eagle Rock High and Toland Way Elementary still have some catching up to do.

Editor's Note: This article focuses on Eagle Rock's non-charter public schools; Dahlia Heights Elementary School’s API scores were inadvertently not listed in a previous version of the article.

As students return to Eagle Rock’s public schools Wednesday amid soaring, triple-digit temperatures, let’s reflect on another triple-digit number that all state schools are required by law (since 1999) to keep track of—the Academic Performance Index.

The API is a key measure of a school’s yearly performance—and the results for 2011 show that LAUSD schools in Eagle Rock improved their scores, reflecting the overall progress in academic accountability made throughout the LAUSD family.

According to an Aug. 31 report by the California Department of Education, LAUSD schools in 2011 achieved an API score of 728. Although that’s 19 points higher than last year’s score of 709, the number is well below the state average of 778 and the Los Angeles County average of 762.

The state-mandated API target for all public schools is 800. Schools that fall short of it are required to set growth targets until they meet the goal. Schools that meet or exceed an 800 API are expected to not only maintain the score but improve it by raising students’ academic performance.

The good news for Eagle Rock's non-charter public schools is that four of them—Eagle Rock Elementary, Dahlia Heights Elementary, Rockdale Elementary and Delevan Drive Elementary—already scored at or above the statewide performance target of 800 in 2010. The remaining two schools—Eagle Rock High and Toland Way Elementary—exceeded their targets for this year. (See table at the end of this story.)

Across LAUSD, every ethnic group improved its API score—and none more than the so-called “Two or More Races” classification. Although numbering just 560 students (out of a total of 436,479 students included in the 2011 API), this group achieved a growth of 68 points over its 2010 score of 710.

By comparison, the API scores of “Asians” (numbering 15,777 students) increased by 9 points to a total of 893. Scores for “Hispanic or Latino” students (the second-largest group, numbering 326,969) went up by 21 points to a total of 707 (93 points below the statewide API target). And the API scores for “Whites” (40,392 students) improved by 13 points to a total of 862.

The single-largest classification in the API ranking was the “Socioeconomically Disadvantaged” group, defined as consisting of students who don’t have even one parent who has a high school diploma. Numbering 357,369 students, this group’s API scores increased by 20 points over the 2010 base of 691.

Here are the API results for LAUSD schools in Eagle Rock:


2011 Growth

2010 Base

2010-11 Growth

Eagle Rock Elementary




Rockdale Elementary




Delevan Drive Elementary




Toland Way Elementary




Dahlia Heights Elementary




Eagle Rock High




Alberto September 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Scott, Camino Nuevo looks like it's just about hitting the average mark. I take it the kids who wash out of Camino Nuevo came from non-charter publics and return there. As I stated from the beginning, I'm only specifically familiar with one particular school (past my experience with my old alumns) so I don't know about them otherwise. I am curious now about what policies are for high school charters. Aspire Pacific Academy also seems to be about average right now... again, I'm really curious about these high school charters now. I know it's tough enough to turn around a kid walking in to a middle school reading at 2nd grade level (but it's done) but I wonder what the policy is for a new high school accepting students who may not be prepared at that level. For public money, you'd want them to take them. But to take them I guess you'd also expect all the additional remediation help required as well. We already know our colleges are facing big problems for how much remediation they have to do, I wonder what that's like for High Schools and how charters in particular are handling it. Do those two schools also do a lottery? How do they know who's prepared and who isn't in that case? Curiouser and curiouser.
Elijah H September 13, 2011 at 10:14 PM
My understanding (and I may be wrong) is that money flows to the district first, and the district releases a percentage to the charter, keeping the balance for "fees". The district provides no funds for facility improvements, no services, and no shared support. Charters cost less for the district to run, so I can't buy into your argument that they drain more funds from the district than a magnet receiving full services. Your bias and motives are evident when you argue that a problem with charters is that "highly participatory parents may self-select to attend" them, and it is "the effects (intended or unintended) that they have on public schools that is troublesome". Your bias is evident in your lack of concern over the larger inequity of magnet acceptance policies, while maintaining a razor sharp focus on the [unenforceable] participatory requirements that some charters impose. Stick to your allegations about a few specific charters, avoid this sort of generalization about the rest, and avoid conspiracy-like references to indoctrination by the Broad Academy, and you'll find fewer people accuse you of being a charter opponent.
Martha Infante September 14, 2011 at 01:01 AM
This thread is about the API scores of ER schools, the distinction someone chose to make about public vs. charter schools & how this may impact the scores. If I am a parent looking for info about these two types of school systems, I would want all the info I could get to make the most informed choice for my child. I have tried to provide some of that information here. Elijah, the statement about charter parents self-selecting to such schools & being highly participatory is referenced in the UCLA Civil Rights study of charter schools, but experience & observation are also a form of data. An investigative report of New Orleans schools, a majority charter district (see http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2009/11/post_42.html) confirmed what many of us are seeing in public schools: choice is the luxury of a lucky few. There are differences between charters & magnets. Magnets: a 1 page application, no report card required, no CST info required, no 30-40 hour yearly parent commitment as a condition of acceptance. Magnet schools have an elected parent board, must be transparent about budget issues, & are under the strict vigilance of the school district. Charters? The opposite of the above. I've seen the effects on students who get kicked back to the public school system firsthand, but it's overwhelmingly from the charter schools. I'd want this info if I were a parent.
Alberto September 14, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Again, as nice as studies are, as a parent, I'd want to know the specifics of schools available to me. I'd also be interested in the fact that traditional schools don't always provide ESL-trained teachers for ESL classes; that ESL kids are tracked and the high school counselor at the traditional school will likely place them in ICS (a remedial science class not-eligible for college credit) regardless of whether the student was an A-B science kid the previous year; that "opportunity transfers" ship problem kids from one school to the other And Then Back again regardless of the effect this may have on the child; that zip codes are used to track kids from poorer neighborhoods into lower-performing schools and away from an available higher-performing school... Martha, studies abound all over the political map and I think you need to discern whether you informing to educate or perpetuating fear and bias. Again, you're clearly a trooper for your kids, someone who delivers the goods. But clearly you Are an opponent of charter schools, and possibly other programs out there, and, by the way, we could also tell you about the effects of students Entering charters who have been jerked around by the traditional system. Yes, parents deserve ALL the information, Martha - and the traditional schools still have the edge on what parents actually know about... Al Shanker was not an early supporter of charter schools because the system was functioning well, after all, now did he?
Susan R September 16, 2011 at 04:18 AM
I find this to be a very healthy discussion. Why shouldn't adults "bicker" over LAUSD giving their kids a bad education. Why shouldn't adults be mad over a 50% drop out rate? If there was school choice schools would have to compete for your business just like a business does. Since schools have a captured audience, if your poor, then why would they improve? Public schools have gotton worse over the years and not better. And, about the lottery, I meant the lottery for the magnets. I don't know about the lottery for the charter schools. And, I would like to see some statistics of how many kids with IEP's are in charter and magnet schools that are disabled and not honor students. While many may apply I would bet few make it. After all they would drag down the scores if they were accepted. The LAUSD continuation teacher in Cypress Park Community Center refuses to take any special education students. Just call and ask her. Discimination exists and is well and alive in LAUSD.


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