Calif AMO targets, 2001-2014
Graph of California's "Annual Measurable Objectives" (AMOs): how many need to be proficient each year

"No Child Left Behind" at Isla Vista School: Data & Resources

The 2001 "NCLB" Act withholds federal funds from schools that do not improve their test scores fast enough.
In 2004 Isla Vista School in the Goleta Unified School District (just north of Santa Barbara) did not meet its mandated target.
This page provides information that may help to understand and correct this problem and its consequences

site maintained by parent and school site council member
Harold Marcuse (my homepage)

created Oct. 14, 2004, last updated 9/4/08; 5/15/10, 7/11/12

IV School
Goleta district
News & editorials
Información en español

News (back to top)

  • 7/11/12: "The Creativity Conundrum in Educational Leadership," a May 2012 article by Roslyn Tam, discusses the decline of creativity in the American education system due to its emphasis on standardized test scores and how local education funds (LEFs) and public education funds (PEFs) may be able to fill the void.
  • 5/15/10: The 2009 API data has been released: SB county data page; scroll down to Goleta Union Elementary, where you will find the IV school data: 788 in 2009.
    The 2010 data are scheduled to be released in August.
  • 9/4/08: In the spring 2008 testing IV's API dropped from 775 in 2007 to 756 in 2008 (its goal was to go up by 5). See IV's 2008 data at It is still in the 80th percentile compared to similar schools, and the 60th of all schools statewide.
  • 8/15/08: 08 data still not available (scheduled for Sept. 4 release: state site). The 2007 base API is given as 775, not 778--maybe there was some adjustment made.
  • 8/28/07: In spring 2007 IV's API decreased slightly, from 782 to 778, so it did not meet its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal of +5 points. Hard luck not to get out of the "Program Improvement" sanctions yet. (2007 IV data provided by; 5/08 link; by Calif. Dept. Ed.). However, the Hispanic subgroup exceed the target by increasing by 12 points (708 to 720), with Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and English Language Learner subgroups both increasing by 4 points (705 to 709 and 715 to 719--subgroup data).
    Great work, but unfortunately not honored by the NCLB legislation.
    [Note: the final goal is to have all subgroups at all schools reach 800.]
  • 10/30/06: IV school's API (Academic Performance Index) increased 37 points in 2006, from 745 in spring 2005 to 782 in spring 2006. Its mandated target was to increase by only 3 points--and that follows on a whopping 679->745 increase from 2004 to 2005, or +66 instead of the target +6. Way to go IV school and students! (2006 IV data provided by; 2006 overview & 2007 targets from CA state database)
  • 4/28/05: Now that my youngest has moved on to junior high I've been neglecting this site, although I'm still trying to follow the discussion. I think that recognition of the need for reform has been steadily increasing, so that it is fairly widely accepted now.
    Anyway, the American Federation of Teachers now has an NCLB page at with more current information.
  • 10/27/05: The LA Times reports on an Edsource study of 257 schools with lower-income students--what made some of them successful in their API score. The results go against conventional wisdom. "Parents' Involvement Not Key to Student Progress, Study Finds
    Report on standardized testing in lower-income schools disputes conventional wisdom," LA Times, October 26, 2005, by Jean Merl.
  • Sept. 2005: IV school improved enormously in its API, and missed NCLB APY just barely.

NCLB and IV School (back to top)

  • There are up to 37 different "targets" that make up Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). If a school misses just one of them, it fails the entire AYP.
    IV school has 21 of these targets. Both for the entire school, and for each of the four subgroups Hispanic, White, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, and English Learners (6 other groups have so few members at IV they are not included), four targets must be met: participation and percent proficient in both English Language Arts and Math. (1+4)*4=20.
    Finally, a target for overall API (Academic Performance Index, another overall measure of a school's performance) gain must be met as well.
  • What happens if a school misses one or more of these targets?
    If this happens two years in a row, the school goes into "Program Improvement" (PI) in the following year. In Fall 2004 IV went into PI. Each year new requirements (and punishments) are added on if a school continues to miss a target. The New Hampshire Dept. of Education has a table showing what happens over 7 years of missing targets.
  • The chart at right is a report of IV school's overall and subgroup attainment of "proficient" status in English and Math.
    2004 AYP report for IV
    IV school's API for 2004
    The target for all subgroups for 2004 was 13.6% in English and 16% in math (see graphs of "Annual Measurable Objectives) at top of page (English), and in next item: Math). This shows that IV attained 18/20 (the green checks) targets.
    The 21st target was the school Academic Performance Index (API). IV had to go from 667 in 2003 to 674 in 2004. It actually exceeded this goal, attaining 679.
    The API range is 200-1000, and the goal is for all schools to attain 800. Additionally, both federal and state requirements mandate that each subgroup attain the API growth target. The state is supposed to release the subgroup data on Oct. 21, 2004. I've made a separate page for IV's API subgroup data.
  • Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs): Calif. AMO targets, 2001-2014 This is the target "bar" (percentage of students who are judged proficient) in any given year. The graphs in this page's header and at right show how California has set the percentages for English and Math.
  • What is the difference between STAR, Stanford 9, California Standards, and CAT/6 tests?
    tandardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) refers to the entire group of tests.
    Stanford 9 is a national test that was used in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. Since it didn't include certain things that California alone required, it was supplemented by "Calif. Standards" questions. Scroll down on this 2001 STAR "types of test" page to read more.
    In 2003 the nationally normed Stanford 9 was replaced by the also nationally normed "California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6)," published by McGraw-Hill. Its nationally normed portion is shorter than the Stanford 9's. Note that no direct comparisons of pre-2003 Stan9 with CAT/6 2003 and after are possible. Scroll to the bottom of this 2003 STAR "Type of Test" page for more infomation.

    By the way, students take other tests as well. For example, students who first learn a language other than English must take the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The CA Dept. of Ed. page on CELDT.
    For high school, there is also the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE).
    (These acronnyms drive me batty.) See the CA Dept. of Ed. page on all the tests.
  • How many questions are on each test, and how are they graded?
    This 2001 STAR "what is reported" page shows this in table form.
  • This table shows how IV students at each grade level did on the California Standards tests,IV School's California Standards Test results, 2001/02-04 which are administered as part of the STAR testing regime each April. Reading these tables diagonally from upper right to lower left gives some idea of the progression of a cohort of students (2nd graders in 2002 are 3rd graders in 2003 are 4th graders in 2004). The only negative thing that stands out to me in this data is that 5th grade math did not do a good job, with cohorts dropping from 27% to 20% (2003 4th grade -> 2004 5th) and 40% to 31% (2002->2003). The 03-04 cohort also dropped in reading from 30% to 25%.
    However, in both 2002 and 2003, 15% of IV students (from 2nd grade up) were new to the school.
    That is a figure from the:
  • Demographic data. The 2001/02 and 2002/03 tables below show the relative size of the subgroups, mobility, class sizes, percentages of families with parents at various education levels, etc. For example, we see that in 2001 374/393=95.2% students took the tests, while in 2002 370/378=97.9% did. Thus IV met the target "participation" rate of 95% both years.
    The "parent education level" is quite unique at IV, which mixes a University of California professor and graduate student population with immigrant groups, yielding a bimodal (two separate peaks) distribution with high figures on either end: in 2002/03 40% of parents had not graduated from high school, 29% had graduated from high school but not college, while 30% graduated from college (and more than half of those graduates continued to do post-graduate work, vastly more than usual in among a pool of college graduates).
    I'm not sure how to interpret the "mobility" figure: 15% might mean that .15*393=59 students in grades 2-6 were new to the school.
IV school demographics, 2001

IV School demographics, 2002

IV School data and documents (back to top)

  • Interpreting statistics: With the release of the 2001 data, California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) website included this discussion of Comparing Scores between groups and over time.
  • 2004 IV School Report card: 20 page pdf. Page 5 has California Standards Test (CST) results by ethnic group, p. 6 has other subgroups (socio-econ & language learners), p. 8 has 2001-03 norm-referenced comparisons by ethnic group, p. 9 2001-03 by grade level, p. 10 has API data 2001-03; p. 11 broken down by ethnic and subgroups.

Databases (back to top)

IV Data
source database


Goleta District data and documents (back to top)

Data files (back to top)

  • EdWatch: State comparisons 1990s vs. 2003 in 4th & 8th grade reading, writing, math, science (only those states reporting for both periods). Also has "achievement gap" pyramids for African-American and Latino students for each assessment, ranked by state. 21 page, 2.4MB pdf

California data and documents (back to top)

Federal/NCLB data and documents (back to top)

  • The NCLB Desktop Reference by the federal Dept. of Education has the law itself in html, word and pdf versions.
  • Table of all states showing the number and percentages of schools that made AYP in 2003 and 2004. 1 page 48K pdf, 27K excel spreadsheet (from Education Week, Sept. 8, 2004)
    California: 46% (4149) did not make AYP in 2003; while only 35% (3198) did not in 2004. Thus CA ranked 16th among 21 states reporting in 2003, and 20th of 25 states reporting in 2004. Much of California's improvement from 2002 to 03 was because many more high schools had the required 95% of their student bodies take the tests. (If fewer than 95% take it, the school fails, no matter how high the scores.)

News reports and editorials (back to top)

page created by Harold Marcuse, Oct. 15, 2004; last updated, see header
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