SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The Education Department said more than half of California’s schools met the statewide academic achievement goal in 2012, the highest number ever.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Thursday that 53 percent of schools met or surpassed the Academic Performance Index target score of 800 this year.

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That’s a 4 percentage point increase from last year. A decade ago, only 20 percent of schools met the target.

Students’ individual academic performance increased an average 10 points to 788.

Black students saw the biggest gain – 14 points to 710. Latinos added 11 points to 740.

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Asians increased their scores by seven points, to 905, while white pupils added 8 points to hit 853.

The Academic Performance Index ranges from 200 to 1,000 and is considered a key achievement indicator.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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