The California Department of Education released school rankings Friday, two measures showing how well schools are doing compared with others in level of achievement and against schools with similar types of students.
Only three schools in the area made it into the top 10 percent of all California schools based solely on achievement: Lakewood Elementary in Modesto, Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy in Tuolumne and tiny Pinecrest Elementary, with only 22 students testing.
Some 32 schools fell into the bottom 10 percent of schools by achievement in Stanislaus, south San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne, Calaveras and Mariposa counties.
The area fared better in similar schools rankings, showing a school's success in closing achievement gaps. The smallest schools were not given these scores. Out of the 263 schools that were ranked, 29 were among the top 10 percent in educating similar students, while 22 fell into the bottom 10 percent. That puts the area slightly above average in working with challenging student populations.
Ceres Unified stood out, with five schools including both high schools rated 10s (top 10 percent) and five with 9s (next-highest percentile). Waterford High, Glick Middle in Empire and C.F. Brown Elementary in north Modesto's Sylvan district received 10s weighed against similar schools.
Among Modesto schools, Modesto High achieved a 9 against similar schools. Enochs High has higher scores but got an 8 against schools with the same demographics. Modesto City's Rose Avenue, Beard and John Muir elementaries did best among similar schools with 8s.
Merced County had many districts that excelled in the similar schools rankings: Merced Union High included four 10s; Planada's two schools rated 10s; and Atwater, Winton, Delhi and Livingston also got high marks.
To see a two-page snapshot of how well a particular school scored on tests and other measures for 2011-12, go to http://www6.cde.ca.gov/schoolqualitysnapshot/