El Molino High School in West Sonoma County found out Monday that all of its Academic Index Performance scores were disallowed because of what district Superintendent Keller McDonald called a "testing irregularity" when the Standardized Testing and Reporting program exams were given last spring.
School and district officials notified the state last spring after a teacher indicated some portion of the administration of the exam for which he was a proctor was done incorrectly in two sections of math.
All test results were submitted to the state, but school officials didn't become aware of the penalty until their results didn't appear Monday.
"We sent in the booklets, the test scores, everything, and they said, &‘OK, we'll look into it," McDonald said. "But we have never been officially notified that our API would not be officially recorded."
Without the API, federal benchmarks cannot be calculated, so El Molino will be classified as not having met federal standards.
"We are going to be counted as not making (federal Adequate Yearly Progress)," McDonald said.
If El Molino fails to meet the federal targets in the next round of tests this spring, they will enter Year 1 of federal sanctions under No Child Left Behind.
"It's a big concern" McDonald said. "Our schools pay a great deal of attention to those numbers. To have everyone feel the impact is a real disappointment."
Calling it a personnel matter, McDonald would not name the teacher involved but said he has been disciplined.
El Molino's base API was 779 in 2009, earning the school a rank of 8 out of 10 among high schools in California. It also met 14 out of 14 federal benchmarks.
"I'm confident that we'll get out of the warning track," McDonald said.