The New Haven Unified School District continues to move forward in the right direction.
As Patch previously reported, the district improved its Academic Performance Index score to 775 from the previous year. The district, however, fell short of the state’s goal of an 800 score. The score measures how well students do on a variety of tests, including the California Standards Test and the state’s high school exit exam.
Several of the district’s schools saw impressive gains, including Conley-Caraballo High School, the district’s continuation school, which saw a 54 point increase form the previous year. See a table of NHUSD API results here.
James Logan High School, however, did not get receive an API score dude to a testing error that resulted in about 7 percent of students receiving extra time to take tests, the district announced Tuesday.
While the latest scores show progress for the district, they shouldn’t be the sole measure of student success, said Chief Academic Officer and co-interim superintendent Arlando Smith.
“Standardized test scores are an imperfect measure of student achievement; still, our students and staff deserve congratulations, especially at Cesar Chavez Middle School, where the gains were quite impressive, at Searles, where our staff is serving students from a largely underserved population, and at Pioneer,” Smith said in a statement.
New Haven ready to revolutionize learning
If things go as planned for the district, New Haven’s achievements should continue to increase thanks to the $29 million Race to the Top grant and the implementation of Common Core State Standards, a federal initiative that takes a standards-based approach to education.
“Over the next few years, I believe the paradigm for measuring student achievement will shift, as schools across the state and across the country adopt the Common Core Standards,” Smith said. “In New Haven Unified, we’re excited to be among the leaders of that movement, thanks to the hard work of our staff and our great fortune in receiving a Race to the Top grant.”
According to the district, more than 600 local teachers received professional development training over the summer through Race to the Top grant funds. Teachers received additional instruction in literacy, math, technology and other subjects.
“The focus of all professional development was to implement the Common Core State Standards while infusing 21st-century learning skills in the process,” said Lisa Metzinger, the director of Race to the Top for the district. “Sessions incorporated elements of the Five Cs: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, cultural competence and communication.”
Race to the Top funds, which are to be used over a four-and-a-half year period, are already being utilized to improve student learning.