Academic Performance Index (API) - Definition& Meaning

The Academic Performance Index (API) was a California-specific accountability system for K-12 public schools and districts. It was in use until 2013 when it was replaced by the California School Dashboard. The API was designed to measure and report the academic performance and progress of schools and districts based on standardized test scores and other academic indicators.

Under the API system, schools and districts were assigned an annual API score on a scale from 200 to 1,000, with higher scores indicating better academic performance. These scores were calculated based on students' performance on state assessments, such as the California Standards Tests (CSTs).

The API played a significant role in California's education system, providing a measure of accountability and allowing parents, educators, and policymakers to assess the academic performance of schools and districts. However, it was criticized for its reliance on standardized test scores and the narrowing of curriculum that sometimes resulted from this focus.

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