Friday, August 6, 2010

Blaine schools fall short on 'No Child Left Behind' goals

4 in district don't meet AYP objectives

Express Staff Writer

Julie Dahlgren Lonnie Barber

Four schools in Blaine County failed to meet goals for the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the 2009-2010 year.

Three other Blaine County schools—Carey School, and Bellevue and Hailey elementary schools—achieved their goals, according to the latest Adequate Yearly Progress report, commonly referred to as AYP, that was released this week by Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.

Overall, the Blaine County School District did not achieve AYP, missing its goals in reading and math achievement for "students with disabilities."

Neither District Superintendent Lonnie Barber nor Board Chairwoman Julie Dahlgren were willing to comment on the report. Barber was attending the annual Idaho school superintendents' meeting in Boise this week and said he hadn't had the opportunity to analyze the data.

Dahlgren said: "It's a little early to do a thorough data analysis." She also said that many school districts in Idaho failed to meet AYP goals because the state of Idaho has changed the standards.

Luna acknowledged in a news release issued Monday that the "state has continued to raise the bar," but stated that 60 percent of Idaho's public schools still met AYP goals.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a way of calculating and measuring compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. In Idaho, AYP results are based upon Idaho Standards Achievement Tests taken in reading, mathematics and language use by students grades 3-8 and grade 10.

To make AYP, schools must meet student-achievement goals set by the Idaho State Board of Education in 41 different target areas during a given school year.

According to the Luna press release, the standards were changed for 2009-2010.

"To make AYP this year, 85.6 percent of students in a school had to reach grade-level proficiency in reading, compared to 78 percent last year," the news release states. "In math, 83 percent of students in a school had to reach grade-level proficiency this year, compared to 70 percent last year."


According to the report, Carey School, Bellevue Elementary School and Hailey Elementary School achieved AYP in all 41 areas.

Not achieving AYP were Wood River High School, Wood River Middle School, Woodside Elementary School and Hemingway Elementary School.

Results were not tabulated and reported for Silver Creek High School, often referred to as the "alternative school," because it had a student population of less than 34, which is the cutoff point the state uses in calculating AYP.

Wood River High School missed goals in three areas: economically disadvantaged reading, Hispanic ethnicity reading and Hispanic ethnicity math.

Wood River Middle School missed AYP in only one area, math achievement for students with disabilities.

Woodside Elementary School missed goals in three areas: limited English proficiency math, economically disadvantaged math and Hispanic ethnicity math.

Hemingway Elementary School missed goals in economically disadvantaged math and Hispanic ethnicity math.

The school district overall met AYP goals for both reading and math, measuring 94.3 proficient in reading and 90.7 proficient in math.

A third indicator used in determining AYP is graduation rates. According to the report, the district had a graduation rate of 94.1 percent, compared to the state graduation rate goal of 90 percent.

Terry Smith:

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