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Tuesday Churn: State drops in AYP

Updated 10:15 a.m. – The percentage of Colorado schools reaching federal Adequate Yearly Progress standards dropped to 46 percent in 2011, down from 62 percent in 2010.

Educations officials noted that performance expectations increased in 2011, accounting for the decline. Expectations are increased every three years as part of the No Child Left Behind goal that all students be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

The Department of Education is planning to seek a federal waiver that would allow it to use the state accountability system instead of AYP (get background).

According to a CDE news release, 17 schools that receive Title I funds moved out of the school improvement category in 2011, and another 30 such schools reached AYP targets for the first time. If schools do that two years in a row they are removed from improvement status. In 2011-2012, 223 schools have been identified for School Improvement out of 2,043 schools in the state.

Other 2011 statistics include:

  • 25 percent of districts made AYP, down from 48 percent in 2010.
  • 53 percent of districts made at least 90 percent of their targets.
  • 89 districts are on improvement status, including 22 on program improvement and 67 on corrective action.

More information:

What’s churning:

Denver Public Schools enrollment has jumped the 80,000 mark for the first time in nearly 40 years, as district officials had projected.

The last time DPS’s student population was above 80,000 was in 1973.

The estimated population as of Sept. 30 was 81,438, a jump of 2,015 from the previous year’s total of 79,423. That represents a 2.5 percent increase in one year.

The overall school-age population of Denver has only grown by 1,250 – 2 percent – over the past decade. Nevertheless, the district enrollment has jumped by 9.2 percent in just the last three years.

The recent growth “is mostly due to us now getting kids that, previously, we hadn’t been getting in our schools,” said district spokesman Mike Vaughn.

Superintendent Tom Boasberg said there has been growth in the city’s southwest, southeast and in the Far Northeast.

Speaking of the Far Northeast, and the district’s turnaround plan for that area passed 11 months ago, he said, “Now, we’re one year into the turnaround, and we have 300 more secondary school students there than last year. So, it’s wonderful to see the level of parents’ emthusiasm for the reforms.”

The bulk of the growth came in the PRE-5 grades, about 1,200 students, and 6th-8th grades, some 650 students.

The numbers released by the district today do not represent the official October count, which is reported to the state as the number by which per-pupil funding for the district is calculated. Those figures typically aren’t finalized until December. Because Oct. 1 fell on a Saturday, most districts did their count last Friday.

The University of Colorado’s “Creating Futures” fundraising campaign has passed the $1 billion mark on its way to a $1.5 billion goal. More than $530 million in private gifts have gone to the CU Foundation with the remainder private gifts and faculty research grants that have gone directly to the university. More information

What’s on tap:

TODAY

The Educational Success Task Force meets from 1-5 p.m. at the Community College System offices, 9101 E. Lowry Blvd. The legislator/citizen study panel will be considering legislation it might recommend, including possible changes in high school testing. Agenda

The Douglas County school board has a 5:30 p.m. meeting at 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. The public portion of the meeting is slated for 7:10 p.m. Agenda

The Aurora school board meets in closed session at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the superintendent’s contract. It convenes in public at 6 p.m. at 1085 Peoria St. The agenda includes a resolution in support of Proposition 103, the statewide ballot initiative to increase sales and income taxes for education.

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