Berkeley High School students are demonstrating academic success at increasingly higher levels, according to data shared with School Board on April 23. African American and Latino students are seeing notable gains on the California Standards Test in Math and English Language Arts, and pass rates are improving for all students on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). Seventy-one percent of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes passed the related AP exam, and more students are taking International Baccalaureate (IB) level classes and passing the rigorous IB level exams. Along with these improved outcomes on key indicators of achievement, Berkeley High School attendance is up, and chronic absenteeism and suspension rates are down.
Graduation Rate Data: Recently released Graduation Rates for the Class of 2013 further indicate improved outcomes for all student groups, with the overall graduation rate for BHS students at 88.8%. Six percent more African American students graduated in 2013 than in 2012 bringing the African American graduation rate up to 87.9%, a rate of graduation above the state and county levels. Berkeley High School’s African American and Latino students are now graduating at a rate greater than the overall White student population in California (87.6%). Although research, and state and county data show consistently that girls graduate at a much higher rate than boys, there is less than a 3-point difference in graduation rates between males and females at BHS, and less than a 5-point difference between African-American males and females. Graduation Rates by ethnicity and by special program show improvement for every group as detailed here. (Insert hyperlink)
When disaggregated, the longitudinal data on key academic indicators at Berkeley High School show that African American and Latino students continue to experience barriers to academic success.
- Low-income Latino student performance on the CST tracks lower than non-socioeconomically disadvantaged Latino students, whereas African American students in both subgroups perform similarly on the CST.
- While data reflects an improvement in attendance and suspension rates for African American students, African-American students continue to be disproportionately represented in the population of students absent from school, suspended, and identified for Special Education.
- A large gap persists in the AP exam pass rate between African-American students (21%) and their White peers (82%), while the pass rate for Asian (54%) and Latino (55%) students falls between these two.
Berkeley High is currently undertaking a novel approach to identifying and supporting students who may potentially underperform academically. Using a combination of an Academic Support Index and information provided by BUSD middle schools, BHS will be able to more efficiently target and evaluate student support interventions and follow through more effectively in its commitments to 1) Provide targeted support in the transition years, 2) Provide academic support outside of class time, 3) Disrupt the predictability of student outcomes along racial and class lines, and 4) Help all students experience success and maximize their post-secondary options.
A full reporting of the data presented is available online. Documentation provided to the School Board included the following additional data points of interest:
2012-13 CAHSEE Data Summary
- Tenth grade pass rates for White, Latino, and all students exceed the state averages in English Language Arts (ELA), and Math on the CAHSEE;
- The tenth grade pass rate for African-American students is the same as the state average in Math, and lower than the state average in ELA.
- 94% of students in last year’s graduating class (2013) passed both sections of the CAHSEE.
CST / API Summary
- BHS California Standards Test (CST) student performance in ELA and Math: 1. Increased, and is higher than the state and county for all students (?), 2. Is similar for African-American students whether they are low income or not, but shows both groups increasing CST proficiency rates; 3. Is lower for low-income Latino students than their non-socio-economically disadvantaged Latino peers, with both groups showing increases.
- The API for BHS increased by 42 points in two years. All subgroups also made double-digit gains, with low income and Special Education students showing the greatest gains.
- More English Learners (EL) demonstrated annual progress on the state’s English proficiency assessment (CELDT.
Suspensions, Absences and Special Education Disproportionality Summary
- The number and percentage of suspensions overall and for African-American students decreased in 2012-2013, and continue to decrease in 2013-2014 as of the 3rd Quarter.
- Chronic Absenteeism (absent greater than 18 days for the entire school year) decreased in 2012-2013 overall, and for African-American students.
- There continues to be a disproportionate number of African-American students absent from school, suspended and identified for Special Education.
- Participation and scores on the SAT remained high, although there was a slight decrease in the average score.
- BHS Total Scores overall and in sub-tests far exceed the State Average with low- income students scoring close to the State Average for all students, and Latino students outperforming the State Average for all students.
- There continues to be a gap in achievement and participation between African-American students and their White and Asian Peers.
- BHS African-American, White, Asian and Latino students who took the SAT had scores that exceeded the National Average compared to their peers.