Annual AYP results show progress
August 05, 2004
His comments came after the announcement Wednesday by education Commissioner Roger Sampson that the state showed progress in its annual assessment of the adequate yearly progress (AYP) of Alaska schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Fifty-eight percent of Alaska schools made AYP standards this year - up 16 percentage
"We are seeing measurable results in the ability of our kids to read, write and compute," said the Governor. "I credit the good work of our teachers in the classroom who take seriously their jobs to educate and equip our next generation. I also credit the parents who take active roles in their children's education, the school boards that prioritize these fundamentals, and Commissioner Sampson and the Department of Education for the bold initiatives they are undertaking to improve school performance and student achievement."
No Child Left Behind holds schools accountable for the performance of all students. Under the law, accountability is based on whether or not schools, districts and states meet annual targets toward the goal of bringing 100 percent of their students to academic proficiency by the end of the 2013-14 school year.
The Governor cautioned that while promising, these results do not mean that the job is done. "I challenge the department and our communities, teachers, principals and schools boards to make even more improvements in our public schools and in student achievement," said Murkowski. "Our children's education is our collective responsibility. We must all work together to support student achievement - as educators, as parents, as grandparents and as community and business leaders."
Murkowski was also pleased that Commissioner Sampson noted the minority achievement gap appears to be narrowing. "The achievement gap among minority students has leveled out and may be showing signs of improvement. We need to look more closely at AYP results a year from now before we know more, but these this year's data appears encouraging."
The Department of Education and Early Development has several important initiatives designed to improve school performance and student achievement, all of which are linked directly to AYP results. These initiatives include providing teachers with models for daily lesson plans aligned to Alaska standards, initiating a statewide teacher mentor program, redesigning teacher certification based on teacher performance and modeling effective reading instruction.
"Better alignment of instruction with assessments and standards, and development of additional resources for teachers are helping schools deliver results," Murkowski said. "This is true education reform. The commissioner's positive announcement today is a reflection of the efforts made by all those who have worked for educational results in Alaska for decades. We aren't yet where we need to be, but we are moving in the right direction."
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