Press Release

Baldwin Park, San Marcos, West Covina, and Lake Elsinore Unified at the top of 2012 rankings

OAKLAND, CA (April 3, 2013) – Today, The Education Trust–—West (ETW) releases its third annual District Report Cards (, grading and ranking California’’s largest unified districts on outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students. Once again, this year’’s report cards reveal higher poverty districts that are consistently achieving strong academic results, and graduating high numbers of college-eligible Latino, African-American, and low-income students.

“”Just as students receive report cards that measure their performance and progress in school, ETW develops annual report cards that grade California school districts on how well they are educating their Latino, African-American, and low-income students,”” said Lindsey Stuart, Data and Policy Analyst at The Education Trust–—West.  To create the report cards, ETW uses publicly available data from the California Department of Education to assign “”A-F”” letter grades and numerical rankings on four key indicators: performance, academic improvement over five years, the size of achievement gaps, and college readiness. Grades on these four indicators are combined into a single overall grade.

In addition, this year’’s District Report Cards website contains some exciting new features. The college readiness indicator now includes graduation rates and cohort a-g rates (the percentage of Latino and African-American  ninth-graders who graduate from high school having completed the course sequence necessary to apply to the UC/CSU systems). In addition, we have developed interactive regional maps of district grades and added a section to the website on promising practices in higher poverty, higher performing districts.

““We hope that parents, educators, and community members will use these report cards as a resource to identify districts that are closing achievement gaps and providing greater opportunities for all students to be successful,”” said Jeannette LaFors, Director of Equity Initiatives at The Education Trust–—West.

This year, the highest overall grade of a B is earned by Baldwin Park Unified (Los Angeles County). In Baldwin Park, low-income students posted five-year gains of 102 API points, far exceeding the average gains of 64 points in other large unified districts across the state. In addition, San Marcos Unified (San Diego County), West Covina Unified (Los Angeles County), and Lake Elsinore Unified (Riverside County) also rank at the top of our rankings. These districts all serve student populations that are over 40 percent low-income, and over 50 percent African-American and/or Latino.

““Districts with the best outcomes for California’’s Latino, African-American, and low-income students don’’t always get the recognition they deserve,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—–West. “”We applaud their leaders, teachers, and staff for their hard work and their unwavering commitment to equity and improving student outcomes.””

The report cards are available online at: 

On April 11, The Education Trust-West hosted a webinar where district and school leaders from top-performing districts shared the strategies that have contributed to student success. Click here to download a recording of this event. Click here to download the related PowerPoint presentation. 

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About The Education Trust–West
The Education Trust–—West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.