Reading Scores Fall Short
The Moore County school system's 2005-2006 reading scores failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the second year in a row.
(See an explanation of the standards .)
Because the county missed the mark a second time, the district has the designation of "Title I School Improvement" under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001.
However, this is a provisional designation with technical details that are still being discussed with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Superintendent Dr. Susan Purser said.
"We are not being as successful as we want to be for students," Purser said. "I am very encouraged by the fact that in the majority -- the overwhelming majority -- of our schools we were able to address the total population.
"I'm very encouraged. Certainly we are in line to improve in some areas, and we are very actively moving to address those areas. I look forward to having all the data."
(Check out the results for county schools .)
The numbers do give teachers an idea of where improvement is needed and can help when preparing for the upcoming school year.
The school system released numbers Wednesday that showed some schools around the county missed the all-or-nothing reading standards set by the federal law. Out of 188 targets, the school system met 176. That is 93.6 percent of the goals.
Schools are still waiting for math scores, which will determine the final standings. Mathematics scores have been delayed by the state until October.
(Check out more information on state AYP standards .)
The new mathematics test is the most significant change from last year, and the test results must be analyzed by the state, to properly determine scores.
With the "Title I School Improvement" designation, the school system will have to direct more of its federal funding to staff development and other activities related to improving student achievement, said Tim Lussier, director of community relations for the school system.
Southern Pines Elementary will also remain designated as "School Improvement." Southern Pines Elementary did not meet AYP for reading for exceptional children (students with disabilities) subgroup during 2002-2003, 2003-2004 and this year. Though Southern Pines Elementary met AYP in 2004-2005, a school must meet AYP for two consecutive years to lose the "School Improvement" designation.
Vass-Lakeview Elementary also missed proficiency in the exceptional children subgroup. At Robbins Elementary, the Hispanic subgroup and the limited English proficiency subgroup did not meet AYP.
AYP measures the yearly progress schools make, or fail to make, toward achieving grade-level reading and mathematics standards for groups of students. NCLB was designed to ensure that all public school students in grades 3-8 and 10th grade test at grade level in reading and mathematics by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Ten schools out of 19 have met the provisional AYP so far, but that number could change before the end of the year.
Out of the 22 schools in Moore County, Aberdeen Elementary, Southern Pines Elementary and Pinckney Academy were not included. The two elementary schools are K-2. As a vocational school, Pinckney is measured by a different federal standard.
Meeting AYP is not just a matter of overall improvement for a school. Schools must test a certain percentage of students in each group outlined in NCLB, and a certain percentage of those students must pass the exams to be designated as proficient. The percentages of students who must pass the exams rises in three-year increments until 2014.
If just one student group in one subject (mathematics or reading) at a school fails to meet the targeted proficiency goal, then the school does not make Adequate Yearly Progress for that year.
Union Pines High School missed its participation mark for the subgroup of black students and thus missed its AYP target. Union Pines Principal Robin Lea is appealing the designation with the state.
Student groups are white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, multi-racial, economically disadvantaged students; limited English proficient, students with disabilities, and the school as a whole. Most schools do not have all groups represented. There must be at least 40 students to make up a group.
Economically disadvantaged students are defined as those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
Schools must test 95 percent of each group identified at its enrollment.
The number of "targets" defined by the state is the number of groups tested and the number of groups that meet proficiency standards.
As an example, if a 3-5 grade school has white and black students, none of whom are economically disadvantaged or have disabilities, then the school as a whole must test 95 percent of students. For 2005-06, 76.7 percent of students must pass reading in those grades, and 81.0 percent of students must pass mathematics. When the state looks at the scores, 95 percent of white students must also have met the 76.7 percent reading and 81.0 percent mathematics scores, as well as the black students.
Attendance in elementary and middle schools, and the graduation rate in high schools are also used to determine AYP.
Caroline Kornegay can be reached at 693-2484 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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