Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students

2016 Report

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For the second year in a row, the Bay Area is doing worse than the rest of state
in educating low-income Latino and African American students.

Here’s a look at the dozens of local schools proving it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Pain and Promise in CAASPP’s Second Year

Scores are up overall, but they aren’t rising fast enough for underserved students.

In 2010, California started one of the biggest shifts in teaching and learning in decades. The state raised the bar for how much students would be expected to learn, in order to do a better job of preparing students for college and careers. Last year, students across the state took a new test that measured their mastery of those new, higher standards – the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).

In that first year, performance was low: only 44% of students met standards in English and only 34% met the standards in math.

In August, California published the second year of results. The good news is that scores improved overall, with 48% of students in the state meeting standards in English, and 37% testing at grade level1 in math.

Yet, disturbingly, as scores went up, achievement gaps for African American, Latino and low-income students stayed as wide as they had been in the first year, and in some cases even widened. While test scores don’t tell the full story of how schools are doing, they are an important sign of how well we’re preparing students. We still have a long way to go.

While the Bay Area outperforms the state average overall, low-income African American and Latino students actually fare worse in the Bay Area than other areas of the state. Low-income African American and low-income Latino students in the Bay Area are well below the state average in both English and math, and the vast majority are still not meeting standards. Despite that troubling picture, there are signs of hope – schools that are bucking the trend and proving that a child’s zip code need not decide her educational future.

At Innovate Public Schools, we believe that it is possible for all schools to achieve strong results for underserved students. This year’s Top Schools report highlights 472 Bay Area public schools that achieved strong results for underserved students in English and/or math. We want to celebrate these schools and encourage attention to their practices, so that all schools in the Bay Area can learn from what works.

1Innovate defines “testing at grade level” to be meeting or exceeding state standards on the CAASPP standardized exam.
2The original report published on September 27, 2016 listed 41 unique schools that met our threshold. An additional eight schools met our threshold after an updated data file was released, and two from the original list no longer qualified and were removed.

Across the State, Huge Numbers of Students Are Underserved

This report examines the 2015-16 test scores to see how Bay Area schools served low-income Latino and low-income African American students. Our analysis highlights schools in the Bay Area where the proficiency rates in English and math for these two student groups are at least as high as the state averages for all students.

Low-income African American and Latino students are historically underserved, and tend to score much lower than their peers on standardized tests. Together, these two groups make up almost half of all students in California.

Bay Area Schools Still Show Wide Achievement Gaps Between Groups

Although it is positive and important that scores increased for many groups of students in 2016, they didn’t increase as much for low-income students. In the Bay Area, only 35% of all low-income students are meeting or exceeding state standards in English, compared to 76% of other students – a difference of over 40 percentage points. In math, the gap is even larger – 43 percentage points.

Poverty Does Not Explain the Achievement Gap in Bay Area Schools

For the second year in a row, many Bay Area schools also continue to show dramatic gaps between different racial/ethnic groups within the same economic status. For example, low-income African American students are still a full 24 percentage points behind white students from low-income families, and 41 points behind low-income Asian students, in English. This gap between low-income African American and low-income Asian students is even larger in math, with a difference of 48 points. This means that most Bay Area schools are not closing the achievement gaps for all students.

For the Second Year, the Bay Area Trails the State in Test Scores for Underserved Students

Although the Bay Area as a whole scored higher than the state average for all students, low-income African American and low-income Latino students’ scores in the Bay Area are still far below the state average. More than seven out of 10 low-income Latino students, and more than eight out of 10 low-income African American students, scored below grade level.

state-comparisonsfinal-3

california-ranksCalifornia ranks at the bottom in student achievement nationwide

It is hard to compare student achievement across states because they use different tests to measure student learning. The one exception is the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which is given in every state. In the most recent NAEP release, California ranked at or near the bottom of all of the states and the District of Columbia. For example, fourth graders in California ranked 48th and 49th out of the 50 states and D.C. in math and reading, respectively.3

3The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results were most recently published in October 2015. The data were last accessed on September 12, 2016. More detailed results are available at http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/

Forty-seven Bay Area Schools Stand Out in Results for Underserved Students

Despite this troubling picture, the encouraging and exciting news is that a few dozen schools are achieving strikingly different results. These schools are beacons of hope, offering opportunities and lessons that all of us can learn from, build on and spread widely. At these schools, low-income African American and Latino students are outdoing the state averages – sometimes by a wide margin. In fact, some of the schools highlighted in this report are so high-performing that they’ve effectively closed the achievement gap for some groups of traditionally underserved students. Some schools have scores for their low-income Latino and African American students that are up to four times the state average for their subgroup in English and math.

Our report looks at traditional district and charter public schools across the five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara). Schools that are selective in choosing which students to admit, including alternative schools and others flagged by the CDE, were not eligible for inclusion in this report.

The Top Schools listed in this report meet the following criteria:

  • The school has at least the state average percentage of low-income Latino students (43.3%) or low-income African American students (4.3%).
  • The participation rate (the number of students tested divided by the number of students enrolled in a school) was at least 95% when rounded. This high participation rate assures that the school is testing practically all students and not somehow discouraging some students from getting tested, which could artificially inflate school-wide scores.
  • The school’s proficiency rate for low-income African American students in math or English meets or exceeds the state average proficiency rate for all students, OR
  • The school’s proficiency rate for low-income Latino students in math or English meets or exceeds the state average proficiency rate for all students.

From the total of 568 traditional district and public charter schools serving a large number of underserved students in the Bay Area, only 47 unique schools achieved better results on the 2015-16 state tests for their underserved students than the state’s overall average for all students in English and/or math5. This number is far too low, and it underlines how rare these schools are. Especially striking is the fact that only one high school in the entire Bay Area met our criteria for low-income African American students in English and math. Despite that, the schools featured in this report offer models from which we can hope to greatly increase the number of great opportunities for our underserved kids.

The schools that met – and in many cases exceeded – these criteria are featured on the next few sections of this report6

4Four schools on our lists qualified as both an elementary and a middle school, amounting to 51 “schools” on our lists when considering school type.

5The CDE data file used for these analyses was accessed on October 20, 2016 at http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2016/ResearchFileList.

6For a description of the report methodology used for this analysis, see the methodology page at the end of the report.

Top-Performing Bay Area Public Schools
for Low-income Latino Students in English

Among schools that have at least 43.3% low-income Latino students, which is the state average

Click on a section to view details

Elementary
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Gilroy Prep (Charter)77%+1Gilroy UnifiedNavigator Public Schools48%Yes
Mission Preparatory (Charter)72%+38SBE - Mission PreparatoryMission Preparatory73%Yes (in math)
KIPP Excelencia Community Preparatory56%N/ARedwood City ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools82%
KIPP Heritage Academy (Charter)54%+2Franklin-McKinley ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools52%Yes
Kipp Prize Preparatory Academy(Charter)49%+14Alum Rock Union ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools73%
Highland Elementary49%+5West Contra Costa Unified51%Yes
Voices College-Bound Language Academy (Charter)48%+13Franklin-McKinley ElementaryVoices College-Bound Language Academies66%
Rod Kelley Elementary47%+10Gilroy Unified59%Yes (in math)
Rocketship Discovery Prep (Charter)45%+17Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education76%Yes (in math)
Middle
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
KIPP Summit Academy (Charter)76%+4San Lorenzo UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools43%Yes (in math)
Voices College-Bound Language Academy (Charter)73%0Franklin-McKinley ElementaryVoices College-Bound Language Academies66%
Ida Jew Academies (Charter)65%+23Mount Pleasant Elementary65%Yes
KIPP Heartwood Academy (Charter)58%+4Alum Rock Union ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools75%Yes
Edison Charter Academy50%+20San Francisco Unified69%
KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy50%+10San Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools60%
Crittenden Middle50%+14Mountain View Whisman45%
High School
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Lighthouse Community Charter High (Charter)86%+8Oakland UnifiedLighthouse Community Public Charter Schools74%Yes
Impact Academy of Arts & Technology (Charter)84%+8Hayward UnifiedEnvision Schools48%Yes
Summit Preparatory Charter High (Charter)83%+17Sequoia Union HighSummit Public Schools46%Yes
Leadership Public Schools: Hayward (Charter)79%+9Hayward UnifiedLeadership Public Schools53%Yes
KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory77%N/ASan Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools50%
Leadership Public Schools: Richmond (Charter)78%+21West Contra Costa UnifiedLeadership Public Schools88%Yes
Making Waves Academy (Charter)67%+1Contra Costa County Office of Education75%Yes
Oakland Unity High (Charter)63%-11Oakland UnifiedUnity Schools74%Yes

Top-Performing Bay Area Public Schools
for Low-income Latino Students in Math

 

Among schools that have at least 43.3% low-income Latino students, which is the state average

Click on a section to view details

Elementary
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Mission Preparatory (Charter)65%+15SBE - Mission PreparatoryMission Preparatory73%Yes
KIPP Excelencia Community Preparatory62%N/ARedwood City ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools82%
Gilroy Prep (Charter)60%+4Gilroy UnifiedNavigator Public Schools48%Yes
E. M. Grimmer Elementary57%+13Fremont Unified45%Yes
Rocketship Alma Academy (Charter)54%+12Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education80%Yes
Rocketship Spark Academy (Charter)54%-4Franklin-McKinley ElementaryRocketship Education56%Yes
Rocketship Mosaic Elementary (Charter)53%+1Franklin-McKinley ElementaryRocketship Education57%Yes
Rocketship Discovery Prep (Charter)51%+11Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education76%Yes
Rocketship Si Se Puede Academy (Charter)48%+8Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education81%Yes
Serra (Junipero) Elementary46%+31San Francisco Unified68%
Rod Kelley Elementary46%0Gilroy Unified59%Yes
Richmond College Preparatory (Charter)44%+2West Contra Costa UnifiedRichmond College Preparatory57%Yes
Los Medanos Elementary43%-5Pittsburg Unified57%Yes
Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary (Charter)42%+1Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education81%Yes
Aspire East Palo Alto Charter (Charter)40%+13Ravenswood City ElementaryAspire Public Schools82%
Edison Charter Academy39%+31San Francisco Unified69%
Ida Jew Academies (Charter)39%+10Mount Pleasant Elementary65%
Highland Elementary39%+6West Contra Costa Unified51%Yes (in English)
Middle
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
KIPP Summit Academy (Charter)61%-1San Lorenzo UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools43%Yes
KIPP Heartwood Academy (Charter)58%+17Alum Rock Union ElementaryKIPP Bay Area Schools75%Yes
Voices College-Bound Language Academy (Charter)50%+1Franklin-McKinley ElementaryVoices College-Bound Language Academies66%
Richmond Charter Academy (Charter)39%-1West Contra Costa UnifiedAmethod Public Schools Inc.84%Yes
Ida Jew Academies (Charter)39%+8Mount Pleasant Elementary65%Yes (in English)
High School
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Lighthouse Community Charter High (Charter)53%-1Oakland UnifiedLighthouse Community Public Charter Schools74%Yes
KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory51%N/ASan Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools50%
Making Waves Academy (Charter)46%+8Contra Costa County Office of EducationMaking Waves Academy75%Yes
Impact Academy of Arts & Technology (Charter)39%-4Hayward UnifiedEnvision Schools48%Yes
Oakland Unity High (Charter)38%-8Oakland UnifiedUnity Schools74%Yes
Pescadero High38%N/ALa Honda-Pescadero Unified63%
Leadership Public Schools - Hayward (Charter)37%-11Hayward UnifiedLeadership Public Schools53%Yes
Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy (Charter)36%+11Oakland UnifiedAspire Public Schools86%Yes

Top-Performing Bay Area Public Schools
for Low-income African American Students in English

Among schools that have at least 4.3% low-income African American students, which is the state average

Click on a section to view details

Elementary
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Sherman Elementary58%N/ASan Francisco7%
Peralta Elementary55%+14Oakland Unified11%Yes
Canoas Elementary55%N/ASan Jose Unified5%
Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary52%+14Santa Clara County Office of EducationRocketship Education6%Yes (in math)
Montalvin Manor Elementary50%+11West Contra Costa Unified11%
Southgate Elementary50%+14Hayward Unified7%
Cleveland Elementary48%+5Oakland Unified12%Yes
Kathryn Hughes Elementary47%+31Santa Clara Unified7%
Lincoln Elementary46%-6Oakland Unified6%Yes
Hanna Ranch Elementary45%+15West Contra Costa Unified8%
Middle
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
KIPP Bayview Academy58%+20San Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools40%
American Indian Public Charter (Charter)56%+25Oakland UnifiedThe American Indian Model (AIM)15%
Orchard Park54%-1Antioch Unified9%Yes
High School
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory87%N/ASan Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools26%

Top-Performing Bay Area Public Schools
for Low-income African American Students in Math

Among schools that have at least 4.3% low-income African American students, which is the state average

Click on a section to view details

Elementary
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
Sherman Elementary58%N/ASan Francisco Unified7%
American Indian Public Charter School II (Charter)50%N/AOakland UnifiedThe American Indian Model (AIM)17%
Cleveland Elementary44%-6Oakland Unified12%Yes
Middle
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
American Indian Public Charter School II (Charter)50%-17Oakland UnifiedThe American Indian Model (AIM)17%Yes
American Indian Public Charter (Charter)44%+21Oakland UnifiedThe American Indian Model (AIM)15%
High School
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN LAST YEAR’S REPORT
KIPP San Franciso College Preparatory47%N/ASan Francisco UnifiedKIPP Bay Area Schools26%

What do top schools do right?

There is a wide range of schools on our Top Schools list, including traditional district schools and charter schools of varying sizes and school types. There is not one exclusive model that defines a top school, but it is true that many high-performing schools have similar practices. The best schools in the country are often driven by a very clear mission, use data to inform decisions, build a great staff, offer rigorous academics for all students, cultivate a culture of joyful learning, and engage parents as co-educators and leaders.

Learn more in our report, How World-class Schools Deliver for All Students.

Increasing Proficiency Rates

With two years of CAASPP scores, it is now possible to look at each school’s change in the percentage of students meeting standards since last year. Across the state, proficiency rates for all students went up 4% in English and 3% in math, with some schools showing much bigger increases. Although many different factors can affect a school’s performance, these numbers are a signal that a school may be improving over time. The four schools below had the largest positive changes in proficiency for low-income African American and Latino students since last year.

Click on a section to view details

Schools with the Largest Change in Proficiency Since Last Year

Low-income Latino in English
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN THIS YEAR’S REPORT
Mission Preparatory (charter)73%+39State Board of EducationMission Preparatory73%YES
Low-income Latino in Math
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME LATINO % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN THIS YEAR’S REPORT
Serra (Junipero) Elementary46%+31San Francisco Unified68%YES

Schools with the Largest Change in Proficiency Since Last Year

Low-income African American in English
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN ENGLISHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN THIS YEAR’S REPORT
Kathryn Hughes Elementary47%+31Santa Clara UnifiedSanta Clara Unified7%YES
Low-income African American in Math
NAME OF SCHOOLLOW INCOME AFRICAN AMERICAN % PROFICIENT IN MATHCHANGE FROM LAST YEARDISTRICTCHARTER SCHOOL NETWORKSUBGROUP % IN SCHOOLIN THIS YEAR’S REPORT
Serra (Junipero) Elementary33%+25San Francisco Unified7%YES

There is Hope, But We Have Work To Do

From all the data and analysis on California’s new standards and tests, two clear facts emerge. One is that, as it stands today, the deck is stacked against low-income African American and Latino students, particularly in the Bay Area. The second is that it doesn’t need to be that way. Despite the real and enormous challenges in communities of poverty, a small but significant number of schools are setting their students on track for successful, secure lives. In a region known for its extraordinary wealth of money and talent, we must find the energy and will to do that for more of our children. At Innovate Public Schools, we are committed to supporting families and communities as they fight for the change that all of our children deserve.

What top schools look like in action

Impact Academy of Arts and Technology: Building a College-Going Culture

A young man in a suit rises and stands before a panel of judges…

Rod Kelley Elementary: Ensuring Rigorous Academics for All Students

First grade teacher Nathan Lober remembers the 2000s at Rod Kelley Elementary…

Learn More and Get Involved

Don’t see your school featured in our report? Visit our website to find out how schools in your community are doing for underserved students. You can also find profiles of top schools and how you can take action to make sure all students get a high-quality education.

About Innovate Public Schools

Innovate Public Schools is a nonprofit organization working to make sure that all students in the Bay Area — especially low-income students and students of color — receive a world-class public education that prepares them for success in college, careers and beyond. We’re building a movement of families, educators, and business and elected leaders who together will make this vision a reality. We build the capacity of parents and educators to innovate and act together to create world-class public schools, and we publish easy-to-understand school quality data and research that highlights both problems and solutions.

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