As Kids Take STAR Tests, School Rankings Are Released by State

By Patric Hedlund with Gary Meyer

The Pine Mountain Learning Center maintained its rating as the highest-performing school in Kern County when Academic Performance Index (API) rankings for 2010 were released May 5 by the California Department of Education.

Meanwhile, this week and last, students in all local schools were busy taking tests for the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program. The results of those tests will be released next fall. The data released Thursday, May 5 include improvement targets for each public school.

At this time in 2010, Gorman school had an improvement goal of 685. Its 2010 API score was 784. Its API target for 2011 is 789.

Frazier Mountain High School had an improvement goal of 705 in 2010 after its 2009 API score came in at 700. It notched up to 701 in 2010. The high school’s API target for 2011 is 706.

El Tejon School’s goal for 2010 was 750; its score was 734. El Tejon’s goal for 2011 is 739.

Frazier Park School’s goal for 2010 was 789. Its score was 771.

Its target for 2011 is 776.

Pine Mountain Learning Center (PMLC) has reached and exceeded its target goal of 800, which is the benchmark set for all California public schools by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) evaluators. PMLC’s current score is 915. The scale goes up to 1000.

Because El Tejon Middle School has not met its growth targets for five years, an Alternative Governance Board has been appointed. It is working to improve achievement.

*Both these schools are charter schools, under their respective districts. **The El Tejon Continuation High School has too few students to report with statistically valid results.

Pine Mountain Learning Center, which now has 85 students, is the only school among Kern County’s 281 schools to earn the “10” rank position, the state’s highest ranking.

Kern County had 61 schools (21.7 percent) at “1,” the lowest of the state API rankings, and 14 that achieved a “9,” placing them near the top statewide. You can see local school test results at

As a charter school, PMLC requires that parents sign an agreement to volunteer about 30 hours each school year to the school. Studies show that student achievement correlates with parent involvement.

This is part of the May 13, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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