CST scores improve API


During the 2010-2011 school year, students increase their API or Academic Performance Index score by 21 points. The CST is mandatory in California as it showed what the students learned throughout the year.

Dinorah Acuna, Writer

Successful with their CST scores, Downey High’s Academic Performance Index score (API) increased by 21 points after months of hard work by the students of the 2010-2011 school year.


Every year, students all over California are required to take the CST in order to see what they have learned; however, there always seems to be a large number of students who did not take the tests seriously and did not even bother trying their best. This constantly affects the school’s API score and  prevents it from improving.


“I believe every student should take the CST seriously even though we’re not graded on it because it’s still an exam,” Karla Torrecillas, 11, said. “You should get a good score on it for yourself, because it’s going to benefit you and no one else.”


This all changed as of last year when Mr. Houts decided to encourage teachers to offer grade changes to students who scored in the advanced range or improved from their previous scores.


“This benefit really motivated a lot of our students to give their best effort,” senior Rebekah Jin, said.


This advantage indeed motivated the students tremendously so that the school was able to increase its API score by 21 points, which surpassed the school’s goal of 5 points. With these results, the students were finally able to realize just how important these tests are even though they are not a requirement for graduation.


“I think the CSTs are important to the school because it helps the teachers see what the students learned throughout the year and what they can improve on,” Berenice Gonzalez, 12, said.


With these improvements on the STAR tests, the school hopes that these positive outcomes will continue throughout the years as the students continue to be more motivated about doing well on the tests. However, grade bumps are not the only benefits students can get from getting exceptional scores on the state tests. Students can also be eligible for the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma if they earn a scaled score of 370 or higher on six different CSTs. Hope that these benefits will further motivate the students on putting more effort in their school work as well as in their STAR tests stays with the staff.