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Pair of 10s earn a win

Mariners, Early College had to do well against rest of state and schools of the same size, socioeconomic demographics.

May 19, 2010|By Tom Ragan

Two Newport-Mesa Unified schools scored a pair of "10" rankings each based on the state's Academic Performance Index, and they were the only schools in the district to do so.

Mariners Elementary School in Newport Beach and Early College High School in Costa Mesa were notified last week of their outstanding state rankings and measurements on the index, or API. It is a yardstick used to measure how well students in California are learning subject matter in the state's standardized curriculum. The API is calculated according to how students at specific schools performed in state testing done last spring.

"I have absolutely fantastic teachers. I cannot even tell you how good my teachers are," said Pam Coughlin, principal of Mariners in Newport Beach. "I also have super parents and support. I probably have about 40 parents helping me right now in the classroom. We work really well together. We pitch in and help, and no matter what needs to get done, we get it done."

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The school has 773 students. On the standardized tests, 88.8% of the student body scored well in math, ranking as either "advanced" or "proficient" in the subject matter, Coughlin said.

In language arts, Coughlin said, 84.4% of the student body was either advanced or proficient.

Early College High's students, where 185 students were counted in state testing, also scored well on the tests and received two rankings of 10 out of a range of 1 to 10.

According to Pam Slater, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Education, the 10s represent an extraordinary effort because, in order to achieve those rankings, a school not only has to rank in the top 10 percentile across the state, but it also has to rank in the same percentile in schools similar in size and socio-economic demographics.

Both did so, Slater said.

Most schools across the district scored well on API, she said, averaging scores on the index between 700 and 800 points, the threshold for success. The index tops out at 1,000 points.

Six other schools in the district ranked 10 statewide, but none were in Costa Mesa.

Those six are three Newport Beach schools — Eastbluff Elementary, Newport Coast Elementary and Andersen Elementary — and three schools in Corona Del Mar — Lincoln Elementary, Harbor View Elementary and Corona del Mar High.

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