SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Nearly 46 percent of Alaska Schools Made Adequate Yearly Progress
Begich Calls on Governor to Consider NCLB Waiver;
Emphasizes need to bring local control to education



August 12, 2011

(SitNews) - Of 505 Alaska public schools, 231 schools – or 45.7 percent – made adequate yearly progress in the 2010-2011 school year under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development announced today.

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:

• Forty-seven schools that did not reach student-proficiency targets in the 2009-2010 school year sufficiently improved to meet the targets in 2010-2011.
• In addition, 11 other schools that had struggled in the past have now made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and no longer face consequences under No Child Left Behind.
• The statewide graduation rate for the 2010-2011 school year is 68 percent, a 0.5 percent increase over the previous year. In the 2010-2011 school year, 7,887 students graduated from an Alaska public high school.
• Many schools just miss making adequate yearly progress by falling short in one or two targets. In the 2010-2011 school year, 65 schools missed one target, and 48 other schools missed in only two targets.
• In the 2010-2011 school year, 74 percent of Alaska’s schools met the language arts target for their assessed student body as a whole; 74 percent met the math target; 98 percent met the target for student participation in assessments; and 89 percent met the targets for attendance or graduation.

Schools in Ketchikan Reported As Meeting AYP:

Fawn Mountain Elementary
Houghtaling Elementary
Ketchikan Charter School
Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility Ketchikan AYP Level 5 (First Year Meeting AYP)
Point Higgins Elementary School
Tongass School of Arts & Sciences

Schools In Ketchikan Reported As Not Meeting AYP:

Fast Track Ketchikan AYP Level 5 (Fourth Year)
Ketchikan High School Ketchikan AYP Level 3
Revilla Jr/Sr High School Ketchikan AYP Level 5 (Fourth Year)
Schoenbar Middle School Ketchikan AYP Level 1

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:

PowerPoint presentation

List of Schools Meeting AYP by District

List of Schools Not Meeting AYP by District

Summary of Schools Considered for AYP by District

Consequences of Not Meeting Adequate Yearly Progress

Understanding AYP in Public Schools




Source of News: 

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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