Image:TRUEStatement: “Patrick Henry High School, a great school by anybody’s measures, is not an 800 API school. Serra High School — not an 800 API school. High Tech High — people all over the United States know about High Tech High, don’t they? Not an 800 API school,” San Diego Unified school board member Kevin Beiser said May 24 at a board meeting.

Determination: True

Analysis: Usually politicians talk about how good the test scores are at schools in their area. So it was interesting to hear San Diego Unified school board member Kevin Beiser talk about how some lauded public schools in San Diego are still falling short of the state testing goal.

His point: school success can’t just be boiled down to standardized test scores.

California schools get a score from 200 to 1,000 based on how their students perform on multiple tests. The state goal is for schools to reach 800 on the Academic Performance Index. Under state education law, schools are supposed to make measurable progress towards an 800 score, with growth targets set on how far away they are. Once they hit that mark, they just have to stay above it.

During a discussion about how to measure school success, Beiser pointed out that three schools with good reputations, Henry, Serra and High Tech High, were short of that 800-point mark.

“This is very interesting to me,” Beiser said. “Maybe they’re very high-performing in other areas.”

And he’s correct about where the scores fall, though some of these schools come darn close. The most recent scores show that last year Henry High in San Carlos scored 782. Serra, located in Tierrasanta, scored 762. And the charter High Tech High in Point Loma scored 795.

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Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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