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Is our district demographically disadvantaged?

At a press conference about our recent API scores, a representative of the District tried, off the record, to explain our low API scores as compared with certain other Districts on the grounds that they have a greater percentage of Asian students.  This inspired me to look at the numbers to determine for myself if there is any truth in this.  I then began to look at other factors and the project mushroomed into what you see here.

First, on this page I will present the raw data that I have assembled so far.   Then, at the bottom of this page, I will provide links to a series of charts, tables and analysis based on such data.  Please note that all of this data was obtained from websites sponsored by the California Department of Education.

I am not ready to draw any final conclusions at this point, because I am still thinking about how all of this fits together.  Any ideas that you want to e-mail to me would be appreciated.

My tentative conclusions are as follows:

1.  Our supposed shortage of Asian students is not a material factor.

2.  We have the largest number of teachers per student of any district in the state (that I have been able to identify) and a larger than average number of administrators.

3.  The strongest correlations relate to % of students eligible for free/reduced price lunches and to % of English learners, but these correlations don't explain our lower than expected scores.  I believe that we need to spend some time analyzing the ways that other districts (particularly Palo Alto) are generating higher levels of academic achievement from such students.

4.  We are not efficiently deploying our resources.  The level of automation/computerization throughout the district is deplorably low.  We are running a pen and pencil district in a computer age, which is resulting in an enormous annual waste of funds.

5.  We are not adequately involving teachers or parents in curriculum decisions, nor are we doing nearly enough in developing a curriculum that promotes skills & achievement in English/Language Arts or math.

I plan to post, in the near future, my proposed list of the top ten ideas for improving academic performance in our district.  I would love to hear from you about what you think we should do.  Please click here to e-mail me.

 

 

1. Comparison with districts in Los Angeles County.

Annual

#

#

#

%

Free/re-

Revenue

elem

middle

high

%

UC-CSU

English

duced price

District

Per ADA

ADA

schools

schools

schools

asian

eligible

Learners

meals

Arcadia

$ 4,941

9,161

6

3

1

54.00%

57.30%

16.60%

8.30%

BHUSD

$ 7,173

5,131

4

0

1

10.70%

64.80%

7.30%

7.50%

Culver City

$ 5,354

5,658

5

1

1

10.20%

34.60%

19.40%

37.90%

La Canada

$ 5,253

4,146

3

0

1

26.10%

69.60%

4.20%

0.70%

Las Virgenes

$ 4,957

11,295

8

2

2

7.60%

59.00%

3.80%

2.80%

Palos Verdes

$ 5,151

9,240

12

2

1

29.30%

76.40%

11.90%

2.00%

San Marino

$ 5,566

3,012

2

1

1

64.40%

85.20%

6.30%

0.70%

Santa Monica

$ 5,927

11,459

10

2

2

5.60%

67.80%

14.30%

25.90%

S. Pasadena

$ 5,206

3,723

3

1

1

31.10%

73.50%

7.20%

10.80%

Walnut Valley

$ 4,940

14,273

9

3

1

44.50%

61.00%

7.00%

7.40%

Pupils

Pupils

Average

#

per

#

per

Pupils

High

High

Admini-

Admini-

Pupil

Pupil

#

per

School

School

District

strators

strator

svcs

svcs

Teachers

teacher

API

API

Arcadia

29.8

315.1

28.5

329.5

400.7

23.4

795

795

BHUSD

19.7

269.1

25.8

205.5

320.3

16.6

820

820

Culver City

23.4

256.3

18.4

325.9

273.3

21.9

649

649

La Canada

9.6

441.9

17.3

245.2

195

21.8

858

858

Las Virgenes

33.8

348.6

26.4

446.3

534

22.1

825/818

821.5

Palos Verdes

23

414.9

23.7

402.7

437.1

21.8

840

840

San Marino

10.4

296.8

6.4

482.3

148.3

20.8

868

868

Santa Monica

46

262.4

42.5

284

565

21.4

683/793

738

S. Pasadena

13.7

281.5

14.5

266

172.2

22.4

790

790

Walnut Valley

44.2

328.6

42.5

341.7

632.9

22.9

747

747

2. Comparison with districts outside Los Angeles County.

Annual

#

#

#

%

Free/re-

Revenue

elem

middle

high

%

UC-CSU

English

duced price

District

Per ADA

ADA

schools

schools

schools

asian

eligible

Learners

meals

BHUSD

$ 7,173

5,131

4

0

1

10.70%

64.80%

7.30%

7.50%

Piedmont

$ 5,977

2,639

3

1

1

19.90%

83.30%

2.40%

0.10%

Fremont

$ 5,261

29,627

30

5

5

30.00%

43.30%

12.40%

17.40%

Palo Alto

$ 7,369

9,124

13

2

2

18.10%

76.70%

5.30%

6.50%

Oak Park

$ 4,924

3,206

3

0

1

6.20%

62.70%

1.80%

1.20%

Laguna Beach

$ 6,054

2,451

2

1

1

1.90%

57.50%

3.80%

9.70%

Pupils

Pupils

Average

#

per

#

per

Pupils

High

High

Admini-

Admini-

Pupil

Pupil

#

per

School

School

District

strators

strator

svcs

svcs

Teachers

teacher

API

API

BHUSD

19.7

269.1

25.8

205.5

320.3

16.6

820

820

Piedmont

11.8

229.4

11.6

233.4

155.1

17.5

906

906

Fremont

83

372.5

85

363.8

1444.2

21.4

888/767/692/689/646

736.4

Palo Alto

42.1

230.9

36.1

269.3

553.4

17.6

885/852

868.5

Oak Park

9.4

352.7

6.3

526.2

161.9

20.5

846

846

Laguna Beach

7.2

357.1

6

428.5

114.2

22.5

822

822

Based on 1998-1999 fiscal year (revenue data 97/8)-- all data derived from Ed-Data & California

Department of Education websites.

Click on the lines below to see charts & analysis re the potential factors listed.   Again, my goal is to determine which factors are most important, so that I can better understand why certain other districts have significantly higher APIs.

Percentage of Asian students.

Percentage of English learners.

Revenues per student (ADA).

Pupils per administrator.

Pupils per teacher.

Free/reduced price meals.

 

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