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Status quo for Colorado on AYP

The percentage of Colorado schools meeting federal Adequate Yearly Progress targets remained at 60 percent in 2009, the Colorado Department of Education reported Friday.

Although there was no change in that figure from 2008, CDE officials were heartened because eight schools were removed from the school improvement category after they showed substantial academic progress. Only three schools made that move in 2008.

Improvement status covers schools that receive federal Title I funds and don’t reach AYP targets for two consecutive years.

“All of these schools—those that have been removed from the list of Schools on Improvement and those that made AYP for the first year [17 schools] – have made substantial progress in increasing student achievement,” said Patrick Chapman, executive director of CDE’s Office of Federal Program Administration.

The department also determines AYP for districts. This year 46 percent of districts in Colorado made AYP, compared to 42 percent in 2008. Eighty-five districts are on program improvement status in 2009.

The AYP ratings are required by the federal No Child Left Behind law and measure state, district and school progress toward the goal of all students being proficient in reading and math by 2014.

The targets for reaching those goals are increased every three years, so the 2008 and 2009 targets were the same. Districts and schools can reach their AYP targets only if all students and all subgroups (by race, income, English language learners and special-needs students) meet the targets. Depending on student population, a school may be responsible for up to 54 different targets. Targets will ratchet up again in 2010-11.

Schools and districts that don’t AYP are identified for Title I Improvement. Schools and districts on improvement are prioritized for additional grants.

The state is seeking to have the Colorado Growth Model the standards for AYP, rather than the current calculation based just on test scores. The NCLB law is up for reauthorization, which could change AYP in the future.

Consequences are attached to AYP only if a school receives Title I funds. A Title I school that does not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same content area (reading or math) is placed on first-year school improvement. For each year on that list, schools must meet requirements to bring resources to the school or provide parents with alternatives.

Here’s a summary of the schools on improvement:

  • 81 schools are in year 1 and are required to develop school improvement plans, offer public school choice to their students, and provide transportation to schools of choice.
  • 20 schools are in year 2 and must also provide supplemental tutoring.
  • 23 schools are on corrective action (missed AYP targets for four years) and must take additional corrective steps.
  • 13 schools that missed targets for five years must develop restructuring plans.
  • 45 schools that missed targets for six years or more must implement restructuring plans.

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