07/22/08 — AYP results are out

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AYP results are out

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 22, 2008 1:48 PM

After reviewing the preliminary 2007-08 No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results, Wayne County School Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said he was "very proud of all our schools."

But 42 percent of them did not make adequate progress on proficiency standards, according to state officials.

Wayne County met 89 percent of its total target goals, but only 16 of its 33 schools made the Adequate Yearly Progress mark established by the No Child Left Behind regulations.

Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent of accountability and student services, said this year's scores were based on higher standards. Under this year's guidelines, roughly 7 percent more of a given student population subgroup are required to be at or above grade level than last year in reading to meet standards. The jump for math is 9 percent.

"For the second time in six years, NCLB standards were made more difficult for school districts across the nation," McFadden said. "It was expected that school districts would have fewer schools make AYP in 2007-08 because of the tougher standards, but the opposite actually happened for Wayne County Public Schools."

To earn adequate progress, a school must meet 100 percent of its target goals, McFadden explained. Students are divided into 10 subgroups, among them the school as a whole, white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, multiracial, economically disadvantaged, students with limited proficiency in English and students with disabilities.

According to No Child Left Behind, the federal mandate, each subgroup must have at least 40 students. Each subgroup in the tested grades must meet proficiency goals in reading/language arts and math. School attendance and graduation rates also are factors.

The 16 county schools to accomplish that for the school year included Brogden Middle, Brogden Primary, Carver Elementary, Carver Heights Elementary, Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne High, Edge-wood Community Develop-mental School, Fremont STARS Elementary, Grantham School, Meadow Lane Elemen-tary, North Drive Elementary, North East Elementary, Rose-wood Elementary, Rosewood High and Tommy's Road Elementary.

But Ken Derksen, public information officer for the school system, said there is still work to be done.

"This is not an overnight process, to get all of the schools at 100 percent AYP," Derksen said. "It takes time."

So the district has attempted to keep pace by introducing strategies to help students better succeed.

Among these have been computer labs with interactive technology in reading in math, tutoring, mentor programs in every schools, professional development, increased focus on literacy and math, efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, reviewing test data to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of students, and tailoring teaching to the particular students' needs.

The latest data received is only preliminary, Derksen noted, and is subject to change for elementary and middle schools because results from the new end-of-grade reading tests will not be available until October.

And, despite the reported gains, there is still "more work to be done," Taylor said.

"As educators, we will not be satisfied until every student is performing at 100 percent and every school makes AYP. There are many challenges our students face, but our district believes that every student can and will succeed."