07/22/11 — AYP results are in

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AYP results are in

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 22, 2011 1:46 PM

Preliminary numbers are in for schools' Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, and, like many districts reeling from the increased target goals, only half of Wayne County schools made it.

In Wayne County, 13 made AYP while 14 did not. Four others -- Brogden Primary, Edgewood Community Development School, Rosewood Elementary and Tommy's Road Elementary -- still have unresolved data issues.

N.C. Department of Public Instruction released preliminary figures Thursday, with statewide results showing a sharp drop.

"The percentage of schools making AYP is down dramatically this year," said Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability and student services. "Pitt County didn't have any schools that made it, Wilson County had 48 percent that did make it, Johnston County had 19 percent that made it."

Likewise, Wayne's closest neighbors struggled this year, he added, with Lenoir County having 17.6 percent of its schools making AYP and Duplin having 6.3 percent that did.

"I told you, it's a rough year," McFadden said.

In some respects, the situation is not new, as the state has grappled for years with operating under two different models for testing students on the end-of-grade and end-of-course tests. The ABCs model, used as the state's accountability model for years, goes up against the newer, federal model, No Child Left Behind, introduced when President George W. Bush was in office.

"They use the same test scores," explained McFadden. "But basically, they're trying to answer the question, 'Is the school doing a good job?' "

He said it is inappropriate to compare the latest scores with last year's results because the measure changed. More specifically, he said, the number of goals rose markedly.

The AYP Proficiency Goals were revised in 2008, he said. For the past three years, students in grades 3-8 were required to have at least 43 percent of students proficiency in reading and 77 percent proficient in math. This year, the bar was raised to 71.6 percent proficient in math and 88.6 in math.

The latest figure will remain at that benchmark until 2013-14, when it jumps again and all students at all grade levels are expected to perform at 100 percent proficiency in all areas.

"Every year, the federal government increases the standards for making AYP as a part of the No Child Left Behind Act," McFadden said. "It was anticipated that school districts would have fewer schools make AYP in 2010-11 because of the more rigorous standards. Although this year's report does reflect a drop in our district, preliminary numbers show the district has a higher percentage of making AYP than many other North Carolina school districts."

In that regard, he pointed out, 83 percent of the district's 31 schools met 344 of their 414 goals.

To make AYP, a school must meet 100 percent of its AYP target goals in 10 subgroups -- school as a whole (all students), white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, multiracial, economically disadvantaged students, limited English proficient students and students with disabilities.

Subgroups must have at least 40 students. In addition to meeting proficiency targets in reading and math, school attendance and graduation rates are also factored into the mix. The number of target goals at an individual school is determined by the number of subgroups at the school.

"The more divergent the student population the more subgroups you're going to have," McFadden said. "Like Spring Creek High School, it had 43 target goals. They didn't make them all. ... It's possible to have 10 for reading, 10 for reading performance, 10 for math, percentage tested, 10 for reading proficiency and then other academic indicators -- attendance in elementary and middle school, graduation rate for high school."

One of the harsh realities is just how strictly pass-fail the measure is, he added.

"It is important to note that one unsuccessful student identified in just one subgroup can cause an entire school to not make AYP," he said. "It is also possible for a school to increase in overall achievement, or to maintain the achievement level from the previous year, and not meet all of its AYP target goals."

Schools which did make AYP included Brogden Middle, Carver Elementary, Carver Heights Elementary, Charles B. Aycock High, Eastern Wayne Elementary, Fremont STARS Elementary, Grantham, North Drive Elementary, Northeast Elementary, School Street Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Wayne Early/Middle College High and Wayne School of Engineering.

Those that did not were Dillard Middle, Eastern Wayne High, Eastern Wayne Middle, Goldsboro High, Greenwood Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Mount Olive Middle, Northwest Elementary, Norwayne Middle, Rosewood High, Rosewood Middle, Southern Wayne High, Spring Creek High and Wayne Middle/High Academy.

The four remaining schools still have data issues, McFadden said.

"We are talking with DPI, it's literally on a student-by-student basis," he said. "It's just accuracy right now. Until we resolve (our numbers matching the state's) when we come to an agreement that we have measured every single kid and this is the score, when we agree on those, then those will be resolved as well."

The preliminary numbers are expected to be made official when the State Board of Education approves them at its Aug. 4 meeting.