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Manteca Unified API test scores slip by one point
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For 11 years, the Manteca Unified School District had shown steady growth in the Academic Performance Index.

But one point made the difference in this portion of the Standardized Testing and Reporting – or STAR – as released earlier this week by the state Department of Education.

 The district went from an overall API of 751 down to 750.

 The statewide performance target for all public schools is 800, with scores ranging from 200 to 1,000 in the subject groups of language arts and math.

“It would have been naïve to expect to continue our historically strong growth,” Superintendent Jason Messer said.

He had concerns about the elementary school sites.

“We had mixed results,” Messer said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

New Haven School continued to improve, jumping 14 points from that of the previous year to post a district-best 845.

Veritas (832) improved by 16 points while maintaining its “800” status along with Nile Garden (817), Brock Elliott (814), and McParland (812).

Stella Brockman (782) slipped 26 points after sporting an API over 800 a year ago.

Messer noted that some of the drop off might be as a result of the recent budget woes.

“Last year, the educational process was severely disrupted by governmental gridlock and poor governance of the fiscal crisis at the state level,” he said.

Messer blamed this for the elimination of class-sized reduction, layoffs of more than 100 employees, and the transfer of hundreds of teachers to new schools and grade levels.

The state results also included the Adequate Yearly Progress – or AYP – which is a federal measurement established by the No Child Left Behind Act, measuring schools in four categories: graduation rates, participation on statewide tests, proficiency in language arts and math, and performance in the state’s accountability program.

The 2010 API / AYP results for Manteca Unified also included:

•Twenty of the 20 elementary sites received API scores of 738 or above.

•Four out of the five high schools registered API scores of 703 or above.

•Mossdale (799) experienced the most growth with 19 API points.

•Sequoia (767) also showed positive growth with 18 API points.

•Manteca High (727) came through with a district-best 26-point improvement.

•Nine schools met or exceeded their school-wide API growth target.

•Fifteen schools had growth or no loss in their API scores.

•Nile Garden met both school-wide and all sub-group growth targets.

•MUSD met district-wide AYP criteria for three sub-groups in language arts and math.

While the district experienced a drop-off in the 2010 API scores, Messer showed his appreciation to staff, teachers, and students for their efforts, and remains optimistic.

“We look forward to rebound this year orchestrated by district-wide stability, continued focus by teachers and staff, and the continued hard work of our students,” he added.