Nearly 46 percent of Alaska Schools Made Adequate Yearly Progress
August 12, 2011
Every year, the state measures schools’ progress toward the federal law’s goal that 100 percent of students be proficient in language arts and math by spring 2014. Students’ proficiency is measured by their performance in state assessments in reading, writing and math in grades 3 through 10.
Each year under No Child Left Behind, schools must meet targets for the percentage of students who are proficient, as well as targets for attendance, graduation, and participation in state assessments. In all, there are 31 targets. If schools meet all of these targets, they have made adequate yearly progress. But every few years, the targets increase. In other words, over time the bar for making adequate yearly progress is set higher.
The results for the school year 2010-2011 reflect the fact that the targets for student proficiency and graduation increased. As a result, the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress declined by 14.1 percentage points from the school year 2009-2010, when proficiency and graduation targets were lower.
Nonetheless, Alaska public schools demonstrated positive results:
Schools in Ketchikan Reported As Meeting AYP:
Schools In Ketchikan Reported As Not Meeting AYP:
The department’s online information about this year’s AYP data includes: a background explanation of NCLB’s accountability system; a summary of the consequences for schools that do not make adequate yearly progress; a page of detailed AYP data for each of 505 schools; a list of schools that made adequate yearly progress; a list of schools that did not make adequate yearly progress; a summary of schools by school district, showing which targets were met and which were not met; and a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes this year’s results.
With news this week that the Obama administration will soon allow states to apply for waivers from the burdensome No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D- Alaska) is encouraging Gov. Sean Parnell to strongly consider applying for such a waiver when details are released next month.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday states will have the opportunity for regulatory relief from NCLB in the form of waivers to states agreeing to adopt reforms.
“I have been a long-time critic of No Child Left Behind policies. In too many cases, its punitive nature has tied the hands of teachers and administrators when schools need help the most,” Begich writes. “We need to move forward a system that is student-focused and provides flexibility to improve struggling schools, while putting more emphasis on innovation and school improvement at the local level.”
The Obama administration is expected to release details of the waiver program in September, states will be given a couple of months to prepare applications, and waivers could be given out as soon as the 2011/2012 school year.
While Sen. Begich continues to work on education reform in Congress, he is encouraging Gov. Parnell and his education staff to look into the waiver program.
Begich wrote in his letter to the Governor, “Should this be an opportunity for Alaska to get out from under this Washington based, one-size-fits all approach to education, then I encourage your administration to pursue these waivers in September.”
On the Web:
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