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Sunnyvale Student Test Scores Soar!

Smart, smiling student

Students across California in grades 2-8 took standardized tests in reading, language arts and math last May, and the results are in! The Academic Performance Index (API) is used to measure school, district and subgroup achievement on a scale of 200-1000. The State of California has set a target that all schools and districts should score at or above 800 and we have been working hard to get there. This year, with an increase in the district API from 796 to 823—we more than met our goal. Congratulations to our entire school community!

What does it take to increase the district API? Each school has its own API that is based on how students score in reading and math on the California Standards Test (CST).  Scores are measured in performance bands ranging from Far Below Basic to Advanced. As more and more students increase their proficiency level, the API increases. An API score is assigned to schools, districts and numerically significant subgroups. The more students from each subgroup who improve, the higher the API. This year, as a district, every single subgroup demonstrated achievement gains ranging from 10-59 API points!

Some of the highlights of our student achievement gains include:

  • 6 out of 10 schools have APIs over 800 with two schools over 900.
  • 4 of our schools grew over 30 points each—with Ellis topping the list at 51 points, Fairwood at 43, Sunnyvale Middle at 38 and Bishop at 32!
  • San Miguel and Cherry Chase gained over 20 points each, with Cumberland close behind with a 14 point gain.
  • 5th grade scores increased significantly across the District—with San Miguel and Ellis students increasing proficiency in math by over 30%!
  • At Vargas, the students with disabilities subgroup achieved a 33 point API gain!
  • Both middle schools increased at every grade level in reading/language arts with 8th graders at SMS increasing proficiency a whopping 23 points from 58% to 71%!

There are many more bright spots and wonderful successes. View the results at

As we look at some of the amazing increases in API scores in our district, we applaud our staff, parents and administration for working together to ensure all students are learning.  Above all, we acknowledge the hard work our students are doing. Even though standardized testing is but one measure of student achievement, it is an important one.

Congratulations to all!

Article by Mala Ahuja

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