The state Department of Education says 46 percent of California's public schools reached the target score of 800 last year on the Academic Performance Index - or API. That's up from 36 percent.
Overall, students increased their API by 13-points. And state Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell says the achievement gap is narrowing slightly. Both Latino and African American students' scores rose slightly more than scores for whites and Asians….but still trail by more than 100 points. Latino students' 17-point gain was the largest of any ethnic group.
The new figures also show that despite progress, a rising number of elementary and middle schools are failing to reach federal academic targets set by the No Child Left Behind Act.
The API rates schools based on test scores in English, math and science.