Administration finds state left out a critical element in score compliation.
School got a great surprise last month when the
California Department of Education revised the school’s Academic Performance Index
scores up by nearly 100 points. Principal Robin Geissler knew there was a
miscalculation somewhere, discovering that the state had forgotten to include
the high scores achieved by students on the high school exit exam.
The new score of 692, confirmed by the California Department
of Education, makes Bowman one of the highest scoring continuation schools in
the state, with an increase of 67 points over last year’s score.
Bowman’s original score released by CDE last fall was 598,
showing a decrease of 27 points from the previous year, and Geissler suspected
an error based on the results she knew her students were achieving. The Bowman
staff discovered a discrepancy in posted results of the school’s results from
the California High School Exit Exam and started a painstaking process of re-verifying
all of Bowman’s CAHSEE results.
“It’s official!” an
excited Geissler told her staff upon receiving the CDE confirmation of the
successful appeal. “Bowman’s revised API score is now 692, an increase of 67
points from last year’s score, and a 94 point increase from our original score.
“This amazing score proves that what you are doing in the
classroom is making a profound difference in the lives of at-risk kids,”
Geissler’s note to her staff continued. “Together we are closing the
achievement gap at Bowman, one student at a time!”
Geissler noted that the school graduated 276 students in
2008, a record number of graduates. The school also noted a marked increase in
the number of students passing the CAHSEE, with 86 percent of seniors passing
the English portion of the test and 85 percent of seniors passing the math
of the students are credit-deficient, missing so many skills and pieces of
their education,” she told KHTS. “We have a high mobility rate here, kids come
and for a variety of reasons they’ve had chaos and some hard things to work through
in their lives. When they come to us, we have to put those pieces together and
get them in a very short period of time up to speed.”
The school is also making progress in closing the
achievement gap, the difference between achievement of the mainstream student
population and ethnic minorities, English language learners and students in
special education—a major focus of State Superintendent of Education Jack
O’Connell. In fact, Geissler pointed out that English language learners at
Bowman scored slightly above the school average on the writing section of CAHSEE
and students in special education achieved CAHSEE mean math scores slightly
higher than the general population.
“At Bowman, we not only believe that every student can
achieve at high levels of learning, we are demonstrating it,” Geissler
continued in her message to teachers. “You have proven that closing the
achievement gap can be done, it must be done, and we are doing it at Bowman.”
Bowman has another reason to be proud, serving its second
six-year term as a Model School
for other continuation schools in the
state. Administrators and staff from other schools visit the campus to observe
how the school and its programs are run.
very similar to a Distinguished School
,” Geissler explained. “People throughout the state are sent to us to observe
us as a model program for kids at-risk that really works.”