The state released the 2001 Academic Performance Index base report this week and the findings are what we might expect. Most Imperial Valley schools rank low in the state, based on student performance on the Stanford 9 test and the California Standards Test in English-Language Arts.
Is that reason to panic? No. The API numbers for the Imperial Valley tell just a part of the story of what is going on in our schools. And the numbers are not all bad. Several schools rank high and rank even higher when compared against 100 schools in the state with similar characteristics.
Our schools are improving. Teachers are doing their jobs. They are not teaching to help our children do well on tests, they are teaching the students to meet standards set by the state. There is nothing wrong with that. The state should set standards by which students and schools should be judged. We want to know that our children are gaining the skills they need to succeed in life. We would applaud a little less testing and a more rounded education, but standardized testing is the big thing now, so we have to go along with it.