11 of 13 Schools Fail AYP

From the August 19 edition of the Sun Post

For the second consecutive year, two of the 13 schools in Robbinsdale District 281 met Adequate Yearly Progress standards in 2010 under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

As in 2009, they are Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School in New Hope and Zachary Lane Elementary in Plymouth.  The Minnesota Department of Education released its Adequate Yearly Progress report of statewide schools’ test results on Tuesday, Aug. 10.  The AYP data is based on students’ performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-II tests administered last spring. Students in grades 3-8 took both reading and math tests. Tenth-graders took a reading test, and 11th-grade students took a math test.

According to the MDE, 1,048 of 2,291 state schools did not make adequate yearly progress in 2010, the same number as last year.  The percentage of District 281 students that reached proficiency on math and reading in 2010 was slightly lower in comparison to 2009 results.

Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School and Zachary Lane Elementary reached annual target scores for each demographic group of tested students in reading and math.  District 281 secondary schools reached some of the targets set by the state for demographic groups.  The district also made some targets for individual demographic groups, but did not make AYP overall in reading or math.

Robbinsdale Area Schools students in grades 3-5 are learning at a greater rate than the average student nationally, according to 2010 Measures of Academic Progress test results, a widely used standardized test. The MAP test measures student growth over the course of the school year and is used by teachers to adjust teaching practices during the year at the grade, classroom and individual student levels.

In 2008 only three schools passed.  In 2009 only two schools passed.  Now in 2010 only two schools passed.  Anyone see a pattern?  How many employees are being held accountable for the lack of adequate yearly progress?  Ah…give me a minute I’m thinking…..Perhaps it is time to test the teachers!  Here are some of Superintendent Sicoli’s comments….

“Minnesota’s standards are very high,” Sicoli said. “And those high standards, which are challenging to meet, give us a confusing picture of student achievement when compared to other states or when other assessments are considered.”

Now we like Dr. Sicoli and think he has been a good addition to RAS but what is wrong with Minnesota having high standards?  So should they be lowered?  Is that a better solution?  Also, I’m also not sure what’s so confusing about passing tests.  Someone help me out!  And of course we can’t ever address anything in education without the liberal obsessed race, so-called poverty, free and reduced lunch, achievement gap.  Here are Sicoli’s comments on that matter….

“This is a serious issue, not just for schools, but for our society as a whole,” Sicoli said. “Addressing the achievement gap in reading and math will be a major focus for Robbinsdale Area Schools this year. Raising the scores of our students of color while maintaining high standards for all students will be beneficial for all students and our community.”

So what are the District’s plans to turn around these schools….

District 281 plans a number of interventions to improve student achievement during the 2010-11 school year, including a new elementary school reading curriculum; use of federal stimulus funds for instructional coaches who support elementary teachers to improve whole-school reading and mathematics instruction; and a full-scale evaluation of all curricular programs to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately to district priorities.

I’m glad we are using a new reading program but the other stuff looks like nothing new.

Once again, as always, test scores are not the be all/end all but they are important and we believe in them.  You have measure what kids are LEARNING.  That high school diploma has to mean something!   These test results, fairly or unfairly, give the district a bad name!  And what about those lower class sizes and restored programs that were obsessed about during the referendum?  We were told by the district and their apologists that coughing up yet more money was going to bring us great results!  So much for that!

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One Response to “11 of 13 Schools Fail AYP”

  1. give2attain Says:

    Regarding your comments…

    As NCLB (100% goal) gets closer, the number of schools attaining AYP will continue to decrease. Plenty of blame to go around. The improvement goals were on purpose very aggressive. The school system spends more time complaining about the aggressive goals than on improving the system, methods, personnel, etc. The dead beat parents were not measured and did not change, therefore the schools need to carry the whole burden. The middle and upper class lucky families continued to run from their communities, and the lower class unlucky families. The communities held the budgets pretty tight, resisted closing their local schools and continued to demand sports, extra curriculars, special offerings, etc. Lots of resistance to improvement from all sides…

    I agree that Supt Sicoli is pretty good, though I see red everytime he comments that comparing via the MCA to other Minnesota students is too tough. And that we should be comparing via the MAP to all American students. I’ll say it again… I WANT MY KIDS SMARTER THAN THEIR MINNESOTA PEERS !!! NOT SMARTER THAN MISSISSIPPI KIDS !!! (ie just an example, nothing against Mississippi…)

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