API Score Places Murrieta Valley Unified Among County's Top 5

Vista Murrieta High School also ranked among the top five.

Murrieta Valley Unified School District (Patch file photo/Maggie Avants)
Murrieta Valley Unified School District (Patch file photo/Maggie Avants)

Despite the Murrieta Valley Unified School District pulling among the top five highest 2013 Academic Performance Index scores in Riverside County, its overall achievement declined compared to 2012.

Results released Thursday by the California Department of Education—including the 2013 Riverside County Accountability Progress Report, which is comprised of the state Academic Performance Index, the federal Adequate Yearly Progress, and the federal Program Improvement—show Murrieta Valley Unified followed a trend experienced across the county and state.

Murrieta Valley Unified’s districtwide 2013 API was 851, a six-point drop from 2012.

“The results of the Accountability Progress Reporting showed achievement declines across the state and county and unfortunately, MVUSD followed that trend,” said Karen Parris, spokeswoman for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District.

API and AYP are based on statewide assessment results, which include the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program taken in spring 2013 and the California High School Exit Examination; scores range from 200 to 1,000, with a statewide performance target of 800.

The top five highest scoring districts in 2013 in the county, according to figures provided by the Riverside County Office of Education, were: Temecula Valley Unified (866), Menifee Union Elementary (851), Murrieta Valley Unified (851), Corona-Norco Unified (823), and Desert Sands Unified (809).

Additionally, one of the district’s comprehensive high schools achieved among the top five API scores in the county. The top five were: John F. Kennedy High-Corona-Norco Unified (890), Great Oak High-Temecula Valley Unified (860), California Military Institute-Perris Union High (851), Nuview Bridge Early College High-Nuview Union (848), and Vista Murrieta High-Murrieta Valley Unified (844).

Although all Murrieta Valley Unified Schools met their AYP growth targets, the same was not true among subgroups—such as the socioeconomically disadvantaged or English language learners—on some Murrieta campuses. Those included E. Hale Curran, Rail Ranch and Monte Vista elementary schools, as well as the district’s four middle schools.

The only district high school that achieved its growth targets schoolwide and among all subgroups was Vista Murrieta.

“There are likely a number of factors causing this trend; first and foremost being the reduced investment in education over the last 5 years which led to increased class sizes and a shorter school year,” Parris said. “While our students are still performing well, we have work to do and we have already begun focusing on the interventions and enrichment that needs to be in place for all students.”

The 2013 average API score for all public schools within Riverside County was 777, an 8-point drop from 785 in 2012, as compared to a 7-point drop in the state of California. 

For the 2012-2013 school year, the AYP proficient rate in English Language Arts for all public schools within Riverside County was 55.7 percent, according to RCOE.

This is a 1.9-percentage point drop over the prior year, as compared to a 1.5-percentage point decrease statewide.

From 2002 to 2013, the AYP proficiency rate in English-Language Arts for Riverside County has increased by 27.7 percentage points, RCOE pointed out.

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson called the federal AYP proficiency targets set under No Child Left Behind  “unrealistic.”

"It is unfortunate that officials in Washington continue to enforce a program they have acknowledged is deeply flawed, and that paints too many high-achieving schools with the same broad brush," Torlakson said, in a news release issued Thursday.

"As an elected official, I'm obliged to comply with the law. But as a teacher, I'll continue to urge Congress and the Administration to get to work, change course, and replace No Child Left Behind with a workable law that fosters rather than hinders the progress California's schools are making,” Torlakson said.

Complete county, district and school level reports can be viewed on CDE’s website.


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