Source: Valley Roadrunner

VCPUSD holds steady in latest curriculum report

by Michael Crane

September 17, 2013

District-wide, the Valley-Center Pauma Unified School District (VCPUSD) once again performed above the state Academic Performance Indicator (API) target for the 2012-2013 school year. However, the district’s overall score of 818 is a slight drop from the previous year’s score of 822.

“We’re proud to say that for the past four years we have exceeded the state’s target of 800,” said Mary Gorsuch, assistant superintendent, at the school board meeting on Sept. 12. VC Primary, VC Elementary, Lilac School, VC Middle School, and VCHS all performed above the target growth score. Pauma Elementary, VC Prep and Oak Glen all fell short with scores of 778, 702 and 494, respectively.

There was a small decline in average language arts performance across the district, but students performed slightly better in mathematics overall. Students with disabilities performed well above previous years in both language arts and math.

“Compared to other districts, are we in the same boat as them?” asked Board Member Michael Robledo.

“Most districts in California are in program improvement and most went down,” Gorsuch said. “We’re one of the few districts that’s not in program improvement.” VCPUSD also boasts a graduation rate of 96%, placing it among the top 5 districts in San Diego County for graduation rate.

One focus for the upcoming school year will be the transition to the Common Core State Standards, a new set of standards that have already been adopted by 45 states. Critics of the new standards suggest they are an overreach of federal control into education and will just result in more “teaching to the test.”

However, backers of Common Core claim it will result in more flexibility for teachers in designing their lesson plans and will challenge students to solve complex problems. The standards will begin to go into effect this year, so we will be seeing their effect in classrooms throughout the district very soon.

Total district enrollment as of Sept. 12 was 4,158 students, very close to last year’s count of 4,167.