New school ratings...tough news

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POSTED: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 5:21pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 5:49pm

We’ve seen the rankings for local schools on the TAKS test.
But today another set of numbers were released.
It’s called AYP or Average Yearly Progress.
It’s the result of the No Child Left Behind Act back in 2003, and the standards are getting tougher.
Too tough for some schools.
The standards are based on TAKS scores and graduation rates.
Both the Tyler and Longview School Districts have had some problems with the Average Yearly Progress rankings in the last couple of years.
Suzanne Marchman of the Texas Education Agency says the penalties are determined by the number years in a row a school fails the standards for the same subject, like reading or math.
“Basically, they have to create an improvement plan,” she told KETK. “They have to inform parents of their AYP status and explain what they plan to do to address the deficiencies. And they are also required to allow students to transfer to another school within the district that does meet the standards.”
And districts can fail overall as well. Both the Tyler and Longview districts have failed to meet AYP standards overall for the last 2 years.
And the new rankings are tougher, and the results worse.
TISD has 14 schools that failed to meet the standards in one subject or the other. Robert E. Lee and John Tyler have failed 2 and 4 years in a row respectively.
Boulter Middle School is another that has flunked 2 years in a row.
In Longview, 4 schools didn’t meet standards this year versus 2 last year. Longview High School has fallen short 4 years in a row, and Forest Park Magnet School 4 times as well.
After 4 years in a row for the same problem, the punishment is more severe.
“Of those choices, they can replace their school staff,” Marchman says, “implement a new curriculum across the board. They can change the management or replace the management of the school so the Principal and Assistant Principal are removed.”
We placed calls to both districts, and neither were returned.
The ultimate goal of No Child Left Behind is 100-percent of schools passing the standards.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan realizes that is unrealistic, and is offering waivers until Congress revisits the law.

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