The API: 10 things parents should know

前兩天一個Cupertino 搬走的媽媽語重心長地告訴我

「我要是重新再選擇一次,我不會讓我孩子去念Monta Vista ,Pidmont High也很好啊,我兒子在MV只是前20%,他沒有高中生活,一直在念書,如果到競爭少一點點的學校,他會不會比較快樂我無法確定,但是他排名一定會很前面,史丹佛只要全校的第一名,在名校的孩子,實在很可憐...」

API分數常常是有孩子的家庭購買房子的參考指標,去年10月開始,Redfin重新調整學區分數,許多API落後的學校,突然變成9分10分,不管如何,API分數真的是百分之百的指標嗎? 你的孩子一定要爭破頭搶好學校嗎?

這裡有篇來自greatschools.org的文章,提供大家參考,讓你對所謂的API 分數有進一步的了解

1. The API is not a test.

Rather, the API is a school performance measurement system that was first developed as part of California’s 1999 Public Schools Accountability Act. Each year, the state calculates the Base API for each school to establish a baseline for the school’s academic performance, and it sets an annual target for growth. Each summer, the state announces the Growth API for each school, which reflects growth in the API from year to year.

The 2011 Base API, released in May 2012, is calculated using each school’s test results from the California Standards Tests (CSTs — state tests designed to see how students are learning state standards), the California Modified Assessment (CMA), the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) and the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE).

The 2012 Growth API, which will be released in September 2012, shows the school’s academic growth for the year. It is calculated in the same way as the 2011 Base API.

2. The API measures both school performance and improvement.

The API can be used to see how well a school did on tests in any given year, as well as to track school progress over time. Each year, parents can review a school’s API number, which shows how well it did relative to the state’s goal of 800, and also check the school’s growth from the previous year. To make it an accurate measure of school improvement, the Base API calculation only includes test results of students who were in the district during the previous school year. The Growth API is calculated using results of students from the current school year.

3. The API has very high stakes.

Due to the spotlight on API results from newspapers and the state, schools are under tremendous pressure to increase test scores and improve their APIs. While some argue that this pressure encourages schools to improve classroom instruction, others are afraid that schools will shortchange rich curricular programs in favor of test preparation drills.

4. The API measures academic performance, not school quality.

As a parent, you may have heard people say things like, “The school has an API of 750, so it must be a great school,” or “The API is only 550? What’s wrong with this school?” While these simple assessments are tempting, be careful about jumping to conclusions based on a school’s API alone. Before making any overall judgments about a school’s quality, be sure to look at its API improvement as well as other key factors, including teacher experience, parent involvement and special programs.

5. The API focuses on achievement for all students.

The API is designed to show how well schools are serving students across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. For this reason, separate APIs are calculated for each of a school’s statistically significant subgroups, which include any ethnic groups that account for a significant percentage of the school’s population. If “numerically significant,” APIs are also calculated for a school’s socioeconomically disadvantaged students (students who qualify for the subsidized lunch program or who don’t have a parent with a high school degree), English learners, and students with disabilities.

6. Schools that don’t improve their APIs must get help.

If a school doesn’t meet its API growth target and has one of the lower Base APIs in the state, it may receive grants and special assistance to help with improvement efforts. If a school continues to fall short of its target, it may eventually be subject to strong local or state sanctions, including reassigning the principal (subject to a public hearing), reorganization or even school closure.

7. API results are for schools and districts only.

There is no such thing as an individual student API. The API is based on scores from the CSTs, the CMA, the CAPA and the CAHSEE. The API measures how a school’s or district’s academic performance improves from year to year.

8. The API has changed.

It used to include just the results of the norm-referenced tests — in the first years, the Stanford 9 tests and later the CAT/6. These tests compared California students to their peers nationwide. In recent years the emphasis has shifted to include more results from the CSTs, which more accurately reflect what California students are expected to learn in the classroom, and fewer results from the CAT/6. In early 2009, the CAT/6 Survey was eliminated entirely as a testing tool in the state.

In 2001-2002, CSTs in English language arts (for grades 2 through 11) were added to API calculations. Scores from CSTs in math (for grades 2 through 11), social science (for grades 10 and 11), and the CAHSEE were added in 2002-2003 to provide a more accurate picture of what students have learned. In 2003-2004, CST science tests in grades 9 through 11 and the CAPA in language and math in grades 2 through 11 were added. Since 2004-2005 even more indicators have been added. The API now includes the CST in science for grades 5 and 8 through 11 and in history-social science for grades 8 through 11. In 2008, the California Modified Assessment (CMA) was added to the API for grades 3 through 5. Grades 6 through 8 of the CMA were added in 2010.

9. The API is complicated.

If the whole topic of the API confuses you, you’re not alone. Educators and parents alike struggle to understand where the API comes from, how it’s calculated and what exactly it means. Here’s the bottom line: APIs range from 200 to 1000 and the goal for all schools is 800. The API is based on test scores and is calculated in a way that encourages schools to raise the test scores of the lowest-scoring students.

10. GreatSchools Ratings and the California API are different.

GreatSchools also calculates a rating on a scale of 1 to 10 based on California test results. There are several important differences between GreatSchools Ratings and California API Ranks:

  • API Ranks are created by the California Department of Education. GreatSchools Ratings are created by GreatSchools.
  • The API is calculated using results from the CSTs, CMA, CAHSEE, and the CAPA. GreatSchools Ratings are calculated using the CSTs only. For additional information on GreatSchools Ratings, check our frequently asked questions.
  • Some test subjects count more than others in the API.
  • The API includes all 5 levels of proficiency (far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient or advanced), each receiving a different number of points toward the total API. The API is calculated this way to encourage improvement in test scores. GreatSchools Ratings use only the percent of students who scored at the proficient and advanced levels. GreatSchools Ratings show how the percentage of students on grade level at a school compared to schools across the state.

 

 

2016年3月最新市況,依然「搶得兇狠」

上個月,我們面臨了房子一開價就跳漲10%的日子,這個月,大家仍在搶房子的日子中度過。

供給少於實際需求,於是價格還是繼續走揚,今年因為房價已經高漲,加價率不如去年,許多人出價的時候態度變得謹慎,不過,如果出價太過謹慎,就會聽見「心碎的聲音」,這是我客人實際經歷出價時所開的玩笑。

現在想賣屋的屋主都很精,網路上隨便一查都知道行情,如果不是屋況特差、Location不好,不加個10~15%是進不到第二輪的Counter offer門檻的。除了第二輪 Counter offer,如果屋主需要錢,家裡孩子高中畢業要賣房,可能還需要Final Counter Offer 大決戰,若沒有一鼓作氣,可能就會與心中的Dream house擦身而過,這是我最近幫客人搶房子的心得。

廢話不多說,來看看平均加價率變化曲線,還是 Sunnyvale加價率最高,往南而遞減,到Evergreen稍稍緩息。

 

 

SU201603
Sunnyvale Mar 2015 to Feb 2016

 

 

SU price
Sunnyvale Sale Prices 平均House成交價逐年升高

 

Santa Clara 201603
Santa Clara 201603 加價率繼續攀升

 

Berryessa 201603
Berryessa Mar 2015 to Feb 2016

 

Evergreen
Mar 2015 to Feb 2016 Evergreen

 

Campbell
Campbell

我在矽谷月租$2400,要買房嗎?

有個客人寫信給我,他告訴我,他跟太太現在房租2400,想買間40萬元的小Condo,我應該下手嗎?

答案絕對是肯定的,讓我們看看我回信的內容。

Q:Should I buy a house for 400K or rent a apt for 2400/month?

Since your rent is pretty high, I will suggest that you just buy a condo.
I believe you did some math already.

Let’s compare renting an apt for $2400 vs. buying a 400K condo.

If you buy a 400K house with 320K, 30 fixed rate 3.75% mortgage.
Mortgage monthly payment is $1481
Property tax:$416 /month
HOA: $250~300/month
Insurance: $20/month
1481+416+300+20=2217/month

From the above, it’s already cheaper than what you are paying per month for rent, but it requires that you have a $80K down payment available.

Mortgage interest and property tax are tax deductible:
The first 48 month, mortgage interest accrues to $46,216.  Property Tax (assuming 2.5% annual increase) is around $20762.  The tax break is roughly $23K (assuming 35% tax rate).

With that said, 48 months of living in your condo will cost you:
$46216 (interest) + $20762 (property tax) – $23000 (tax break) + $12000 (HOA) + $960 (insurance) ~ $57K.

If you can get 5% annual return on your $80K down payment (if you had invested it rather than buying a house), the “cost” there is $17.2K.

So, the total cost is $74.2K.  That’s still significantly less than $115K that you paid in rent over the same period.  When you sell the house, there’s ~5% commission, which is $20K (at $400K sale price, assuming no gain).  Your total cost is $94K assuming a flat house price.  You can easily add or subtract from that number based on your forecast.

Therefore, I know you probably will choose to buy a condo than paying rent.

 

Ever case is unique, I can calculate for you.