Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.



facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News





On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time


View from the Hill


Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities



Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics






Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week


10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard


Kyle's Kars


Susan Michelle's Compass


Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona


Dancing with Earthquakes


Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It


Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews



America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle


News Briefs

Local News



Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages


Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week

Malibu News

SMMUSD And Minority Academic Performance
Posted by Nedda Alishahi on Apr 10, 2013 - 4:01:38 PM

MALIBU/SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) was given its third annual academic rating by Education Trust-West this past week.

Education Trust-West is an organization based in Oakland, California which seeks to acquire data regarding the achievement of students of color or students who come from low-income families within California’s school districts. This organization seeks to uncover the underlying reasons for the difference between minority students and white students when it comes to their academic success and achievement and discover what needs to be done to improve and lower the gap found between them.


Education Trust-West looks at three key areas in the school system: quality of teachers, access to and success throughout college and careers, and reasonable and acceptable funding for students. This past week, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District received its third annual report card from this organization. Like students get letter grades for their academic performance in school, Education Trust-West surveys different school districts in California and assigns letter grades based on the performance and achievements of minority students and students from low-income families.

Malibu High School is one of three high schools in the SMMUSD.

When grading the school districts, Education Trust-West uses data tools to look at four key factors. The first factor is the performance of Latino, black, and low-income students on state tests as measured by their Academic Performance Index (API) scores. An “A” grade in this category would call for a district to receive a score of at least 800, out of a 1,000 point scale.

The second factor is the academic improvement over a five-year period of minority students. For this category, a district has to gain at least 100 API points over the five-year period. Thirdly, the scale compares the API scores of Latino, black, and low-income students to that of white students. For an “A” score in this category, the school district can only have a maximum of a 30 point gap.

Finally, the scale collects data on college readiness, that is how many Latinos, blacks, and low-income students are graduating high school in four years and how many are completing coursework that prepares them to enter into either UC or CSU schools.

An “A” for graduation rates means the district must show at least 90% of black, Latino, or low-income students graduating in four years and for an “A” in college admissibility, the district must show at least 45% of black, Latino, or low-income students completing coursework that makes them eligible to go into UC or CSU schools.


The SMMUSD fared well in three out of the four categories, but received a “C” grade overall because of the gap between black, Latino, and low-income students and white students when it came to API scores. On standardized testing, a gap (over 120 points) was found between white students and minority students where students of color or from low-income families scored visibly lower.

While receiving less than a 30 point gap receives an “A,” a gap more than 120 points receives a failing grade and because of this, the SMMUSD fell to an average ranking. However, according to the study done by Education-Trust West, SMMUSD also had a higher record of minority students completing coursework that made them eligible for UC or CSU schools than 136 other districts.

Additionally, 70% of black, Latino, and low-income students were found to make it through the coursework and complete it in four years. So while there remains a gap between black, Latino, and low-income students and their white peers, there is also a significant academic achievement for minority students as shown by these statistics.


The Vice President of the Board of Education for SMMUSD, Ben Allen, was aware of the survey taken and agreed that it is an important and integral part of the school system. “Education Trust-West is using this report card model to draw attention to a major national issue, which is the pervasive achievement gap between black and Latino students and white and Asian students,” Allen said. “Districts like ours are one of the best districts in the state on this issue, however there is no question that we have a long way to go in case of getting to where we want to be and it’s another reminder of how hard we need to work to make sure our students are succeeding regardless of background.”


The SMMUSD is not the only district that received low scores when it came to the gap between minority students and white students. Education Trust-West’s website posts that “most California districts receive C’s and D’s on these District Report Cards.” These findings show the work that both Education Trust-West and the school districts in California agree needs to be done in order to improve the education of low-income and minority students. Allen added, “I applaud Education Trust-West for focusing attention on this nationwide problem and the fact that cultural changes need to be addressed locally.”


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.