Clark Magnet High School: A National Blue Ribbon School

The U.S. Department of Education announced on October 12, 2012 that Clark Magnet High School has won for the second time the title of National Blue Ribbon School. Clark is a school with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and the digital arts. In the years since Clark opened in 1998, the student population has increasingly come from economically disadvantaged, immigrant families, 85% of the students speak a primary language other than English, and nearly 52% are eligible for free or reduced lunch benefits. Despite these facts, the California Academic Performance Index (API) for Clark has steadily increased to a score of 909 for the 2010-11 school year, along with a 100% passing rate on both the English and Math portions of the California High School Exit Exams. In the 2011-12 school year, this achievement has been exceeded with an API of 920. The selection process for the National Blue Ribbon School award focuses in large part on meeting the Federal goals for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) that are part of the No Child Left Behind legislation. Clark met and greatly exceeded the AYP requirements for both English/Language Arts and Mathematics, with 100% passing rates in both portions of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). In addition to the excellent passing rate for the CAHSEE, almost all of Clark’s students scored in the Proficient or Advanced achievement levels on the two tests. On the English portion of the test, 94% of the students scored either Proficient level or Advanced. On the math test, 97.9% of the students scored at the Proficient or Advanced level.