UPDATED: Two ABCUSD Schools Recognized as California Distinguished Schools

Tetzlaff Middle School and Artesia High School were among the 39 Los Angeles County schools selected for the honor.

Editor's Note: Updated with quote from ABCUSD superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu.

Two ABC Unified School District schools were among 218 schools named as California distinguished schools today.    

Tetzlaff Middle School in Cerritos and Artesia High School located in Lakewood, along the Cerritos border, were recognized for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement. 

"We are absolutely delighted that Tetzlaff Middle School and Artesia High School have been named California Distinguished Schools by the State Dept. of Education today," ABCUSD superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu told Patch.

"Both schools have worked tirelessly to create innovative approaches to improve student academic achievement. They have made tremendous progress toward narrowing the academic achievement gap by providing a rigorous education and meeting the needs of their students," she said. "We are very proud of both schools for achieving this wonderful state recognition."

There were 39 schools in Los Angeles County and 26 in Orange County on the list of public middle and high schools honorees.

"These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college," Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, said. "Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools."

The two ABCUSD schools will be honored in May during a regional award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag.

The Distinguished Schools Program

The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program focuses on the right of California’s students to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap. Selection is based on grades and closing performance gaps among demographic groups.

To apply for these honores, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School through a process of written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school's signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. For more information, visit the California Distinguished Schools Program Web site.

- City News Service contributed to a portion of this report.

MarieSam Sanchez April 11, 2013 at 08:55 PM
I am a proud alum of both Tetzlaff and Artesia :) My daughter also attended Tetzlaff and is currently a senior at AHS ~ so this is a proud day!!!
Local Person April 11, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Tetzlaff's last API = 833, Artesia = 788. Are these "distinguished" ? I do applaud any attempt to better the schools, but these awards are akin to the loser trophies the kids in pee-wee leagues get. How long will we maintain the status quo in our public schools? In the public sector heads would have rolled decades ago. Yet, we tolerate the failure and respond to the pleas for even more money. Money that has historically not solved the problem. The most recent accounting of the annual education cost per student in the ABC Unified district is $8108. Go see for yourself at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/fd/ec/ That would buy an awful lot of private school education for underprivileged kids who are otherwise trapped in low performing schools. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Chuck Goodman April 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM
I invite you to come and see the great work we are doing at Artesia. Since you are so fixated on API scores, you must have over looked our growth in the last 6 years. For years we have been beating the odds despite of the negative hearsay and public view that many share in our community. You speak of underprivileged students, so many of our students are those students you speak of and yet look at what we are doing! Thanks for fueling our fervor in beating the odds.
bobby joe April 12, 2013 at 01:32 AM
@Chuck Goodman. I am happy for Artesia's making onto that list, but c'mon now. Aint that hard to get on! I'm pretty surprised Ahs made it with such a bad poverty rate and high percentage of latinos/blacks no offense lol but NICE! And as a side note, Tetlzaff is what drags down Cerritos High School's API scores yearly just for your info. The main reasons CHS does so well is because of Carmenita Middle School and those from Leal that went to Tetlzaff who live in the CHS area.
whs alum April 12, 2013 at 01:42 AM
It's great to see that schools in the prestigious ABCUSD are getting recognized as California Distinguished Schools. Now, all four high schools (Cerritos, Whitney, Gahr, and Artesia) are all at least recognized in some sort of way. Certainly the formula ABCUSD has been using is working. Props to Artesia, first, for earning this honor and second, producing a homegrown NBA All-Star in James Harden.


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