Merced County Schools gained slightly this year in rankings that compare California schools.
According to data analyzed by the Sun-Star, 23.5 percent of county schools score a six or above on a 10-point scale, with 10 being thehighest-achieving schools.
The new rankings, released as part of the state's accountability progress reporting, show that county schools as a whole are slowly improving in the state ranks. When the rankings were released last year, only 22 percent of county schools ranked at a "six" or higher when compared to all other California schools. Forty-three percent of schools then ranked a "six" or higher when compared to similar schools.
A score of "10" indicates the school is in the top 10 percent statewide. A score of "one" indicates the school is in the bottom 10 percent.
Only one school in the county - McSwain Elementary School - came within the top 20 percent of schools statewide.
Rankings look a bit better when county schools are compared to schools with "similar barriers to academic success," according to California Department of Education data.
In the "similar schools" rankings, 48 percent of county schools earn a score of "six" or higher. Seventeen of the 102 county schools included in the report, received a rank of "nine" or "10."
The scores are based on 2008 standardized testing scores and are used to set a baseline for achievement on the 2009 exams, which many schools arenow administering.
Read tomorrow's Sun-Star for reaction from local education officials.
Reporter Danielle Gaines can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.