Archive for Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Basehor-Linwood school district receives AYP results

November 8, 2006

The initial results for Adequate Yearly Progress are in for the Basehor-Linwood school district and according to Sandy Guidry, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, the numbers are looking good.

AYP, the minimum amount of improvement schools in each state must achieve in math and reading each year, went into effect as a part of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Each individual state's board of education sets achievement goals progressively higher each year to strive for the ultimate goal of having each child at 100 percent proficiency by the 2013-14 school year.

Guidry said the current scores look promising, but they are not final.

"The results are still very preliminary," she said. "December is more of a reality for results that are more permanent. As far as AYP goes, all of our buildings have met AYP and our district as well, so we're very pleased with that."

For a school to meet AYP, students must meet or exceed the state's target percentage in reading and math. Each building in a district must make AYP for the entire district to make AYP.

Guidry said the 2006 reading target for the state of Kansas was 58 percent and 88.9 percent of students in the Basehor-Linwood district met standards or were above. The target in math was 46.8 percent and 83.9 percent of students in the district met standards or were above.

Attendance and graduation rates are also taken into consideration when determining if a school makes AYP. There must be a 90 percent attendance rate in 2006 and a 75 percent graduation rate. Basehor-Linwood was at 95.5 percent and 96 percent respectively.

Subgroups may also affect a school's ability to make AYP. Students in subgroups have a factor, which may affect the way they learn. For example, students with disabilities make up one subgroup, English Language Learners would be another subgroup and those students receiving free or reduced lunch would be another. However, 30 students are required to make up a subgroup.

Larger districts tend to have more subgroups, making it harder for them to make AYP. Guidry said that while few buildings in the Basehor-Linwood district report subgroups, with the growth the district is experiencing, more subgroups in more schools within the district will pop up in the future.

"The first time a district doesn't make AYP, nine out of 10 times it's going to be because of those subgroups," she said.

The students take the tests for AYP between February and April. Results from the computerized assessments are received fairly quickly so students know how they did individually by the end of the school year. It takes a little longer to calculate AYP results for entire schools and districts, but Guidry said they usually know by the first day of school the next year. However, this year's results are taking a little bit longer because the assessments are different than in past years. The state of Kansas also kept the target percentages the same from last year to see how students perform with the new test.

"All the questions on the tests have changed," Guidry said. "With the questions being different, they have to establish some validity with the tests and see where the kids are with the tests. We can't compare scores with last year because it's not the same test."

While many educators question the reality of having each student at 100 percent proficiency in 2014, Guidry said regardless of whether schools make AYP, the way AYP testing is set up helps districts know which schools as well as which subgroups need the most attention.

"Any and all information you can get is a positive thing for your district so we can adjust instruction," she said.

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