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About the Academic Performance Index

California's Academic Performance Index, a number from 200 to 1,000, is an overall gauge of a school's or district's performance on state standards and other tests. The goal is for all schools to reach 800. Schools receive annual growth targets based on how far they are below the 800 goal. Like the federal government, the state requires that student subgroups also meet specific targets.

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About the California Standards

Tables list the beginning year of California Standards testing and the most recent two years at every grade level tested for each of the state's more than 7,600 elementary, middle and senior high schools. A separate set of tables shows totals for the more than 1,000 school districts.

Students are rated in one of five categories: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic. The goal of the testing program is for all the state's students to reach at least the level of proficient.

The numbers under each year heading show the percentage of students at the grade level who met the target by scoring proficient or advanced. The next two columns show the percentage point change this year and since the first year of testing.

Math scores for eighth grade and above are for tests given to students enrolled in specific subjects. Not all students take the tests. The Times is reporting the primary college-preparatory test at each grade level: Algebra I in eighth and ninth grades, Geometry in 10th grade and Algebra II in 11th grade. The percentage taking the test is also included.

Detailed results for all the tests, including the high school exit exam and breakdowns into categories such as race/ethnicity and economic status, are available on the California Department of Education Internet site.

Scores may not appear for a number of reasons. These include delays in processing the data by some districts and confidentiality rules prohibiting disclosure of scores when 10 or fewer students are tested.

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About No Child Left Behind

The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires every school and every school district receiving federal anti-poverty funds to meet a fixed level of performance, depending on the type of district.

In addition, each of 10 student subgroups, defined by such criteria as race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, must also meet that standard for the school or school district to pass.

Schools or districts that lag two consecutive years, even if only missing by a single subgroup, will go on the program improvement list. In future years, they would face sanctions including the requirement that they offer their students transfers to better public schools.

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