Two-thirds of Antelope Valley schools scored at or below the state median for schools with similar demographics, according to a report released today. Of 91 schools given a 1-10 ranking on the Academic Performance Index, 29 scored a 6 or better in a ranking that compares schools with similar student bodies, such as numbers of students from poor backgrounds or who are learning English. “I think we are the typical district, I think that all the schools in the state of California are facing the same things we’re facing, with students who have special needs, students who are disadvantaged,” said James Lott, trustee clerk with the Antelope Valley Union High School District. “There are some who have more problems than we have, but we’re doing our best,” he said. “I think any time you have somebody who’s able to spend 100 percent of their working day with a school, I think it works quite well,” said Donita Winn, a school district trustee. The 1-10 ranking is based on schools’ scores on the API, which gives a school a score of between 200 and 1,000. The state’s goal is for every school to hit 800. The Antelope Valley, which has a significant number of students from low-performing subgroups, will be affected by a new approach the California Department of Education is rolling out. The department will expect students from each subgroup, such as the socioeconomically disadvantaged, Latinos or African-Americans, to show an annual 5 percent improvement toward getting to a score of 800 on the API. The bar had been set lower for subgroups, but state officials said the higher standard is needed to close the “achievement gap” that had some students lagging behind. The responsibility will be on school districts to work with students from low-performing subgroups to improve their scores. “We’ve done some modeling on it, and clearly there’s going to be more schools failing,” said Pat McCabe, director of policy and evaluation with the California Department of Education. “But it only looked like about 3 or 4 percent of the schools.” [email protected] (661) 257-5253 Four Antelope Valley schools received a 10 on the similar schools ranking. They were Wilsona Elementary, Bailey Avenue Elementary, Anaverde Hills Elementary and Rosamond High. Four schools received a 9 or better on the similar schools ranking. Those schools were Palm Tree Elementary, Sundown Elementary, Armagosa Creek Middle and Tierra Bonita South Elementary. A study released earlier this month showed that Antelope Valley High School has one of the state’s highest transient student populations, and those challenges were apparent in its score. The school scored a 7 on the similar schools ranking, but a 1 on the overall ranking, which compares schools without taking student demographics into account. Last year, the state required the school district to hire an official to oversee Antelope Valley High because it had failed to improve test scores.