VNC Community Schools See Academic Performance Index Increase for 2010-2011 School Year


Helen Kantor
Los Angeles Education Partnership
(213) 622-5237 x 274

LOS ANGELES (September 2011) – Data just released by the California Department of Education shows that four high-poverty secondary schools in the Valley Neighborhood Collaborative in the northeast San Fernando Valley substantially exceeded their targets for academic growth on the state’s Academic Performance Index in 2011. Only 60% of LAUSD schools and 54% of schools statewide met their growth targets.

The Valley Neighborhood Collaborative (VNC) brings together dedicated teachers, administrators, parents, students and community partners to combat barriers to student success at each of the four schools.  Each school benefits from being a community school in which school and community partners coordinate academic, health and social services to raise student achievement, engage parents and involve communities in their schools.  The Valley Neighborhood Collaborative is led by the Los Angeles Education Partnership, a nonprofit agency that has been reforming public education in Los Angeles for more than 25 years.

These four community schools achieved dramatic gains of double to quintuple their schoolwide growth targets. San Fernando Middle School gained 45 points versus a goal of 9 points. Sylmar High School’s API score rose 35 points versus a goal of 8. San Fernando High School and Arleta High School gained 16 and 15 points, respectively, versus growth targets of 8 points. These achievements are particularly noteworthy because prior to becoming community schools in the VNC, three of the four schools did not meet their API growth targets.

These and other community schools are demonstrating that the committed efforts of educators, parents, students and nonprofit community organizations can substantially improve the academic and social environments at high-need schools.

About the Academic Performance Index
The Academic Performance Index reflects the results of statewide testing in multiple subject areas. API scores range from 200 to 1000, and the state’s goal is that every school have an API score of 800. The API growth target for a school is calculated as 5% of the difference between the school’s API score and 800.

About the VNC Partners
In addition to the four schools, key partners include: ABC Learn, Beyond the Bell, SCU Northridge, College Summit, Educare, Educational Talent Search, El Nido, Friends of the Family, GRYD LA Mayor’s Office, Kennedy San Fernando Adult School, LA County Probation Dept., LAUSD, NE Valley Health Center, Pacoima Beautiful, Phoenix House, Project Grad LA, Tia Chucha’s, Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, WorkSource, Youth Speak! Collective.

About Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP)
Los Angeles Education Partnership’s mission is to help students in high-need schools improve their academic achievement by partnering with educators, parents and the community.  Founded in 1984, LAEP became the first educational-transformation organization in Los Angeles and among those at the forefront of the movement nationwide.  LAEP focuses efforts on creating more effective teaching and learning environments in small schools, connecting parents and communities to schools to overcome learning barriers, and disseminating best practices and what they have learned from their work.  Each year, LAEP serves more than 1,600 educators and 80,000 students from prekindergarten through high school in high-poverty, multicultural communities across Los Angeles County. For more information about LAEP, please visit