A study released Tuesday lauded nearly 3 percent of California's public middle and high schools with strong academic track records as "beating the achievement odds" based on their students' socio-economic characteristics.

To make the 2013 California Beating-the-Odds Schools list compiled by the San Francisco-based consultants West Ed, schools had to score considerably better than what its demographics would predict on the state's Academic Performance Index for four years for low-income, English-learner, Latino and African-American students.

Unlike other statewide lists of high-performing schools, comparatively few Bay Area schools made the grade, especially schools with the hardest-to-educate students. Only one San Jose school -- McCollam Elementary in the Alum Rock District -- is listed.

The list included just two other schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties with high percentages of low-income students -- Dr. T.J. Owens High in Gilroy and Martin Elementary in South San Francisco. Several schools in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, Santa Clara and Fremont, all with few poor students, also made the list.

Researchers postulated that strong school climates supportive of students boosted scores.

To read the study, go to www.wested.org/resources/california-beating-the-odds-schools-57613/

-- Sharon Noguchi, staff



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