School sys­tem fails AYP

The Covington News - - Front Page - Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

The New­ton County School Sys­tem has failed to meet Ad­e­quate Yearly Progress for the sec­ond year in a row, due to the large amount of stu­dents fail­ing Cri­te­rion Ref­er­enced Com­pe­tency Tests.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary re­sults, 12 of 23 schools made AYP, which was a bet­ter pass rate than the state had pro­jected. The state had ex­pected 19 New­ton schools to fail.

Though the re­sults were bet­ter than ex­pected, re­sults could prove ex­pen­sive for the school sys­tem, be­cause the state re­quires a more spend­ing on pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment when a sys­tem ex­pe­ri­ences a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive fail­ure.

Still, Su­per­in­ten­dent Gary Mathews noted the progress the sys­tem made.

“When last school year be­gan, based on past per­for­mance (in 2009-10) and re­quired higher

pass­ing per­cent­ages un­der No Child Left Be­hind (in 2010-11), we were faced with a stark pre­dic­tion of 19 schools not mak­ing AYP,” Mathews said in a re­lease. “As things stand now, we have bested that pre­dic­tion by far and stand to do even bet­ter when retest data are in­cluded in the fi­nal re­sults. Our stu­dents en­joyed higher pass­ing rates in 28 of 37 in­stances in 2010-2011, in­clu­sive of all grades and sub­jects tested by CRCTs and the GHSGTs. That’s a 76 per­cent im­prove­ment over 2009-2010, de­spite ever-in­creas­ing pass­ing stan­dards un­der NCLB. Ev­ery year the bar is raised.”

AYP is cre­ated to judge each school’s per­for­mance in sev­eral cri­te­ria: per­cent­age of stu­dents tak­ing the test; the per­cent­age of stu­dents meet­ing stan­dards in read­ing/ lan­guage arts and math­e­mat­ics; and for el­e­men­tary and mid­dle school stu­dents, the per­cent­age of stu­dent at­ten­dance. For high schools, the sec­ond in­di­ca­tor is grad­u­a­tion rate.

The per­for­mance of sev­eral sub­groups is also an­a­lyzed. These sub­groups in­clude stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged, eth­nic­ity and lim­ited English pro­fi­ciency.

A school that fails to achieve the cri­te­ria in any one of the three ar­eas (test par­tic­i­pa­tion, aca­demic achieve­ment, and at­ten­dance/grad­u­a­tion) for any sub­group is clas­si­fied as not meet­ing AYP. Should any of the sub­groups fail to meet the stan­dards, the school is also clas­si­fied as not meet­ing AYP, even if the school as a whole meets the cri­te­ria.

In all of the schools not meet­ing AYP, the re­sult was due to sub­group per­for­mance, not the per­for­mance of the ma­jor­ity of the stu­dents.

Four of the schools not meet­ing AYP, Al­covy High, Cousins Mid­dle, Mid­dle Ridge and Oak Hill El­e­men­tary, failed due to the aca­demic per­for­mance of stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties. At Live Oak El­e­men­tary, the black sub­group caused the school to fail AYP, and at Fic­quett El­e­men­tary, the fail­ure was due to the per­for­mance of black, eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged and stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­groups, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary re­sults.

The fol­low­ing schools failed to meet AYP:

El­e­men­tary Schools Fic­quett: This is the third year in a row that this school has failed to make AYP. How­ever, once the re­sults from retests are cal­cu­lated, the school is ex­pected to be just one stu­dent away from mak­ing AYP. The fail­ure is due to the black and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged sub­groups fail­ing math and the stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group fail­ing

in English. This school was closed and will re­open as the New­ton County Theme School at Fic­quett.

Live Oak: If district es­ti­mates are cor­rect, when retest scores come in from stu­dents at Live Oak, the school is ex­pected to meet AYP. In pre­lim­i­nary re­sults the fail­ure is due to the per­for­mance of the black stu­dent sub­group in math. Be­cause the school did make AYP last year, they are not cur­rently on the Needs Im­prove­ment list.

Liv­ingston: The per­for­mance of both the black and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents caused this school to fail AYP in math. Like Live Oak, Liv­ingston did make AYP last year and is ex­pected to meet this year once retest scores are cal­cu­lated.

Mid­dle Ridge: While district es­ti­mates show Mid­dle Ridge will likely meet AYP once retest scores are in, the school must con­tinue to of­fer school choice due to pre­vi­ous fail­ures. The school failed AYP due to English/lan­guage arts fail­ures by the stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group.

Oak Hill: Be­cause of the stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group, Oak Hill failed to meet AYP. How­ever, they did meet it last year and are not on the Needs Im­prove­ment list.

West New­ton: Stu­dents school-wide failed to meet AYP in math and both the black and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged sub­group failed to meet the stan­dards in math as well. The school did meet AYP last year, mean­ing they will not be placed on the Needs Im­prove­ment list this year.

Mid­dle Schools

Cousins: The school failed to meet AYP be­cause of the math and English/lan­guage arts fail­ure of the stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group. Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the school sys­tem, Cousins is the only school in the sys­tem that has con­tin­ued to show im­prove­ment at ev­ery grade level and in ev­ery sub­ject in the 201011 school year. Also, the school is just a few stu­dents away from mak­ing AYP, ac­cord­ing to district es­ti­mates. They will not be placed on the Needs Im­prove­ment list be­cause they met AYP last year.

In­dian Creek: Af­ter meet­ing AYP for two years in a row, the school has moved off the Needs Im­prove­ment list. Stu­dents who are cur­rently ex­er­cis­ing school choice may con­tinue to do so but the sys­tem will no longer pro­vide trans­porta­tion for them.

Cle­ments: The over­all stu­dent pop­u­la­tion, as well as black, stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents failed to meet per­for­mance stan­dards in math and stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties couldn’t meet the English/lan­guage arts re­quire­ments, caus­ing the school to fail AYP. They are not on Needs Im­prove­ment.

High Schools

Al­covy: The school pre­vi­ously met AYP and is not on the Needs Im­prove­ment list. How­ever, the stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group failed to meet re­quire­ments in math and English/lan­guage arts, caus­ing the school to fail.

New­ton: This school must of­fer sup­ple­men­tal (tu­tor­ing) ser­vices for stu­dents be­cause the school has not made AYP for the past two years. The stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties sub­group failed to meet the math re­quire­ments and the grad­u­a­tion rate re­quire­ment. The school as a whole also failed to meet the grad­u­a­tion rate re­quire­ment. Stu­dents at New­ton High made gains in lan­guage arts, science and so­cial stu­dents in the 2010-11 school year.

Charter School: Even though Chal­lenge Charter Academy is gov­erned by a board of di­rec­tions the Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion re­quires that their scores are in­cluded in the district’s AYP re­port, ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the sys­tem. Stu­dents in both mid­dle and high school grades failed to meet AYP. For mid­dle school, the eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged sub­group, as well as the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion as a whole, failed to meet re­quire­ments in math. High school stu­dents failed to meet math re­quire­ments and grad­u­a­tion rate re­quire­ments. The school is not on the Needs Im­prove­ment list.

Be­cause the sys­tem as a whole failed, they are re­quired to de­velop a sys­tem im­prove­ment plan “in­clu­sive of sub­stan­tially in­creased ex­pen­di­tures in pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mathews, the school sys­tem im­ple­mented an “in­tense plan of staff de­vel­op­ment for in­struc­tional per­son­nel” last year, and they are pro­vid­ing staff de­vel­op­ment “build­ing the back­ground knowl­edge of stu­dents through vo­cab­u­lary de­vel­op­ment in the four core sub­jects in grades kinder­garten through twelve… The district is also pre­par­ing teach­ers to lever­age tech­nol­ogy in class­room lessons, tak­ing ad­van­tage of this stu­dent-ori­ented tool. Fi­nally, each school is in the process of fur­ther es­tab­lish­ing Pro­fes­sional Learn­ing Com­mu­ni­ties which find teach­ers plan­ning in­struc­tion and us­ing com­mon as­sess­ments to judge stu­dent progress and guide teacher ad­just­ments in in­struc­tion.”

Of 2,146 schools in the state, 790 (36.8 per­cent) did not meet AYP. Ge­or­gia has 180 school sys­tems. Of that, just 26 met AYP.

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