Jan 21 2015

OPINION: Are Piedmont Schools Ranked Number 1 in Northern California?

Piedmont Resident Bernard Pech noticed the Piedmont Schools statement on the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) home page that Piedmont schools rank first in Northern California and fourth in the state, but to him the scores were not the highest if all public schools are considered. Pech explains in his opinion below:

I was pleasantly surprised to see the ranking of PUSD advertised on the District’s home page. It is true that the District is ranked number one in Northern California as a Unified School District among other Unified School Districts, and number four in the State, based on the Academic Performance Index (API) as advertised on the District’s home page. But there are in California twice as many non-unified Districts (Elementary districts and High School districts) as there are unified.

Three types of school districts:

Unified Districts cover grades K-12.

Elementary School Districts cover K-8 or K-6.

High School Districts cover grades 8-12.

There are 5998 elementary schools, 1441 middle schools, and 2493 high schools in the State.

On a school by school basis across all district types, the data shows that, for example, Beach Elementary ranks 37th among Northern California elementary schools and 73 among all elementary schools in the State. The Piedmont High School ranks 19th against all other high schools in Northern California, and 44 against all the high schools in the State, whether in Unified or non-Unified Districts.The fact is that Piedmont High is ranked 44 in the State among other high schools, and 19 in Northern California. Havens Elementary is ranked 203 in the State among elementary schools, and 97 in Northern California.

Given the maximum score is 1000, one could consider that the middle and the elementary schools are ranked number 1, rather than 11, 37, 70, and 97 in the Northern California. But the high school is 10% below the best high school and ranked 19 within Northern California behind: San Francisco Lowell High, Santa Clara Lynbrook High,  Oakland Charter High, Saratoga High, Miramonte High, Owens Gilroy, … and 13 other bay area schools.
The District focuses on marketing itself the best way possible, which is understandable.
API State Ranking Northern Cal Ranking
Beach Elementary 966 73 37
Piedmont Middle 964 17 11
Wildwood Elementary 956 136 70
Havens Elementary 948 203 97
Piedmont High 908 44 19
 2013 Academic Performance Index (API).  A 2014 API report will not be prepared by the State.
PUSD Homepage

PUSD Homepage

< Information from PUSD website






Bernard Pech, Piedmont Resident 

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association. 

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