|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 03 August 2011 15:00|
Camp Verde Middle School failed for the 2010-11 school year to meet its adequate yearly progress, or AYP, an ever-rising benchmark set when the federal government adopted the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002.
The Arizona Department of Education released the data last week. It showed that across the state, 1,124 schools out of 1,938 made the grade. Under the provisions of the act, every student in the country is expected to meet their grade level proficiency in reading and math by 2014. It’s a long way to go in a state where the failure rate is climbing, this year up to 42 percent.
The annual measurable objectives as defined by the requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind Act have been increasing every year in anticipation of 100 percent of students meeting AYP by 2014. As a result, for the 2010-2011 school year, 1,124 schools out of 1,938, or 58 percent, met AYP requirements.
The state board of education is quite aware of its position. The state uses Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards to calculate end-of-year academic performance that’s factored into determining AYP.
“The federal requirements for meeting AYP are impractical for many schools and districts in Arizona and across the nation,” wrote Andrew LeFevre, state department of education spokesperson. “In order to meet AYP objectives, all student groups at every grade level must meet their specific measurable annual objectives for achievement. Failure of even one group of students to pass the test, or not be in attendance when it’s given, results in failure for the entire school regardless of the performance of all other students .… In other words, if just one grade or group of students fails to meet AYP goals, the entire school fails to meet AYP.”
At Camp Verde Middle School, it was one group of students who failed to make adequate scores in math that caused the entire school to miss AYP, Superintendent Dan Brown said.
“It’s always a challenge,” Brown said. “And it’s very disheartening when we see a school that missed AYP.”
The failure to meet AYP means the school will be considered in a “warning year” under No Child Left Behind. The school must work to meet its AYP goals next year or the penalties will continue to add up. If the school still can’t meet performance objectives as defined by the law, it could be required to provide free tutoring or even restructure its organization.
Brown said he’s hopeful the upcoming school year will bring improvement. It has only been a short time since the school adopted a new philosophy the faculty and staff call the “Camp Verde Way,” an approach to education born out of a partnership with the district’s sister school, the Vail Unified School District. In Vail, most schools are performing above state requirements.
Despite the blow to the middle school by missing AYP, Brown said the faculty is “always on full alert” to try and improve student performance and education.
“We’re always going over countless amounts of data and seeing what we can do to do better,” Brown said.
Camp Verde Elementary School and Camp Verde High School met AYP for the year, but South Verde Technology Magnet School, the district’s charter school, failed to meet AYP in part because of poor student attendance.
Among other schools in the area, Beaver Creek School and Chester-Newton Montessori School met their required performance. Pace Preparatory Academy missed AYP because of a low graduation rate, according to the data.
Rimrock Public High School also failed to meet federal standards. Although it met its testing performance objectives, it failed to produce enough graduates.
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