“Academic Performance Index” (API) was created by the California Department of Education in 1999 to measure and compare LAUSD school performance and progress based on Standardized Testing.
API score can give you a quick idea of how a school is performing. Schools with a API of 800-900 are the best in the city. Of course, there is much more that goes in great school than simply test results, so I would encourage you to speak with the school’s principal, teachers, and other parents by arranging a tour or going to the school’s open house night.
You can find API Scores for Los Angeles public school with API Search Tool
Standardized testing evaluates student proficiency in core subject areas of English-Language Arts, Math, Science, and History, and compares student results with other students in the state who took the same test.
API is based on a numeric scale ranging from low of 200 to a perfect score of 1000.
Inflated API Scores:
Warning: API is weighted for schools that raise students from “far below basic” to “below basic” categories (the lowest two). These school receive more credit than students rising from “proficient” to “advanced” (top two categories). “Basic” is middle category. What does this mean? That the API scores may appear really inflated for some bad schools! In Elementary Schools and Middle Schools API is a good comparison, however I have found that it is very inflated for High School comparison.
Take for example Hollywood High which has an API of 762
762 is a really high score! The School has a 11% drop out rate and only about 50% of students are reaching Basic state standards, and only an abysmal 20% in math. How does this school have an API of 750+? Because of the API inflation for struggling schools. I don’t know why they do this (to make themselves look good?) so be aware.