2012-08-16 / School

New education standards challenge Texas schools

Select Chandler, Brownsboro, Murchison campuses meet AYP targets

Forty-four percent of Texas campuses met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets this year due to a substantial increase in requirements, the Texas Education Agency announced last week.

On the home front, two campuses in Brownsboro ISD met the AYP targets while Murchison ISD met the requirements both as a district and an elementary school.

Under this federal school accountability system, a school or district this year met AYP requirements if 87 percent or more of their students passed the state reading/English language arts test; 83 percent of their students passed the state mathematics test; 95 percent of their students participated in the state testing program and, depending on the grade level, had either a 75 percent graduation rate or a 90 percent attendance rate. Twentyeight percent of Texas districts met these high standards.

The state’s request to use a similar approach with the federal system and carry over the 2011 AYP ratings into 2012 as the state transitions to the new testing program was denied by the U.S. Department of Education.

Chandler Elementary and Brownsboro High School met the requirements for BISD.

CES being named a top school is no surprise as the school has been Exemplary in previous years TEA ratings.

“We recognize that the federal government's Adequate Yearly Progress standards and the State of Texas are disjointed and will result in many school districts across the state failing to meet AYP at an increasing rate over the next two years,” BISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Moran said. “BISD is very proud of the fact that we met 20 of the 23 measures this school year in the areas of math, reading/ ELA, and attendance/graduation rates.

“Brownsboro High School and Chandler Elementary School have both met all requirements of AYP this school year. Our other campuses will be working to ensure our special education and economically disadvantaged students meet the federal requirements for performance and participation in assessments for the spring of 2013.

The AYP requirements are comparable to Recognized or Exemplary level performance in the 2011 state accountability system. No state ratings are being issued this summer because the accountability system must be retooled to use results of the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, STAAR tests.

“BISD will be evaluating our current services and providing support to the campuses in those targeted areas,” Moran said. “To meet the increasing requirements of AYP this school year, all campuses will have to realize a 92 percent passing rate in reading/ELA and a 93 percent passing rate in math along with attendance and graduation requirements. That is the equivalent of an exemplary rating for every school district in the State of Texas to meet AYP. Many smaller campuses and districts will benefit from the minimum group size of 50 to count towards AYP. The larger the campus and district, the more groups count towards their meeting AYP.”

MISD's status comes at a time when it is considering adding ninthgrade classes while still allowing students to transfer from other districts without a fee.

“I am proud of this recognition which could not be accomplished without the hard work of our students, staff and parent support. I believe this proves that we are heading in the right direction for student success,” MISD Superintendent Richard Jones said.

Under the current structure of the No Child Left Behind Act, the passing standards in the federal accountability system must rise to passing rates of 100 percent on the mathematics and reading tests by 2014. This means steep increases in the requirements each year now through 2014.

Last year, a passing rate of 80 percent on the reading/English language arts test and 75 percent on math test were required to meet AYP. That year 50 percent of the districts and 66 percent of the campuses met AYP requirements.

Along with the graduation or attendance figures, 2012 AYP evaluations are based on 10th grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) results and scores on the STAAR tests for grades 3-8.

Because passing standards have not been set yet for the STAAR for elementary and middle school grades, the Texas Education Agency conducted a bridge study to determine the raw score on the STAAR that is equivalent to the TAKS passing standards.

These equivalency scores were then used in the AYP calculations for this year only.

Using this methodology, 3,773 schools and 339 school districts met AYP requirements. Additional AYP information is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ayp/.

Districts or campuses that miss AYP for the same reason (reading, mathematics, graduation rate, or attendance rate) for two or more years and receive Title I funds move into the school improvement program and are subject to sanctions. Title I funds are federal funds that are to be used for the education of low-income students.

Non-Title I schools that miss AYP must revise their already existing campus improvement plans to address the reasons that the campus missed AYP.

The majority of Title I districts and campuses that missed AYP are in Stage 1, having missed AYP for the same reason for two years in a row.

Brownsboro ISD has reached Stage 1 status while Murchison has not.

Of the 513 Title I districts that missed AYP, 285 or 56 percent of them are in Stage 1 of the School Improvement Program. Among campuses, 976 or 84 percent of the total 1,159 Title I schools that missed AYP are in Stage 1. These districts or campuses must develop an improvement plan and campuses must offer students the option to transfer to a school that meets AYP requirements.

None of the BISD campuses have reached Stage 1 status.

Schools or districts that are in Stage 2-5 face stronger sanctions at each additional stage. A school that has reached Stage 2 sanctions, for example, must offer tutoring to its students.

The Texas Education Agency is revamping the Supplemental Educational Services (SES) or tutoring component with the intent of enhancing the quality of tutoring services provided to students. The new statewide SES system is expected to be available by the time school starts.

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