The High-Growth Schools of Los Angeles

When I looked at the growth data I presented last week, I was struck by the variety of results that schools got. Take Aspire Firestone Academy, a charter school in South Gate. Their data is all over the place. 

Most schools in Los Angeles are like this. There are some grades that had high growth and some that had low growth.

This got me thinking about schools where all the results were high. I am talking about schools were high growth occurred in all grades. Not just above average, but far above average.

So here is my metric: schools that were above the 80th percentile in all grades in English and Math. Also, I am only going to include schools that have at least 2 years worth of growth.

There are 8 of these schools in Los Angeles.

  • Ararat Charter
  • Valley View Elementary
  • Dolores Huerta Elementary
  • Carlos Santana Arts Academy
  • Twentieth Street Elementary
  • Gridley Street Elementary
  • Edwin Markham Middle School
  • PUC Inspire Charter Academy

At these schools, all measured grades improved in the 80th percentile compared to other schools. 

This is not to say that these are high performing schools. Far from it. At Markham, only 17% of the students are meeting standards in English and only 13% are meeting standards in Math. But in a year where growth was essentially flat across the district, these schools improved outcomes across the board.

Ararat and Valley View are high performing schools that pushed their students even higher, but the other 6 schools bottommed out on performance in prior years and are now showing growth from that low-point.

Of course, there is one glaring trend in the data. Three of the schools (Markham, Dolores Huerta and Twentieth Street) are all part of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. I guess all that publicity is merited.

So maybe we should flip the question – which schools had low growth? Next time….

2 Replies to “The High-Growth Schools of Los Angeles”

  1. Perhaps this is a classic case of mean reversion/randomness? Low performance schools are likelier to improve than high performance schools..

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