MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—Does a school’s performance on California’s Academic Performance Index (API) relate to the use of a particular curriculum program? An analysis released today by EdSource from a large-scale survey of elementary schools serving similarly-challenged students suggests an answer.
School APIs are based on student test scores on the California Standards Tests, which measure how well students at the school are mastering grade level academic standards. According to many experts, California’s K-12 academic standards, adopted in the late 1990s, are among the most challenging in the nation.
The new analysis found that for English language arts, using the Open Court curriculum program school-wide did appear to make a difference in a school’s API score. Open Court appeared to be most effective when it was:
- used intensively—i.e., all teachers in the school reported using Open Court daily;
- combined with a coherent, school-wide, standards-based instructional program; and
- combined with the frequent use of student assessment data to improve instruction.
Open Court is one of two main English language arts curriculum packages currently approved by the State Board of Education in California. The new findings are the result of an extended regression analysis of survey data collected last spring from 5,500 K-5 classroom teachers in 257 schools from 145 different districts.
Joanne Jacobs has more.