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DOE Releases List of High School Progress
Adequate Yearly Progress assessment shows areas
April 26, 2007
AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education released the list of Maine public high schools not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) today, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The 2006-2007 AYP status of Maine high schools was determined by the results of the 2006 administration of the SAT to all third year public high school students in Maine.
2006 was the first year that the SAT reasoning test was used as the state high school assessment for NCLB. Previously the grade 11 MEA was used as the state assessment for this purpose. It is important to note that for this year’s reporting Maine used only one year of assessment data because of the use of the new test. Previously, years two years of data were used.
To achieve AYP status, each school must meet the proficiency target for the whole school and for five subgroups, including American Indian/Alaskan Native, African American/Black, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, and students with disabilities. To make AYP, the students in the five subgroups, as well as the whole school, must achieve targets in both reading and math.
In addition, the whole group and all subgroups with 41 students or more must have 95 percent participation in the testing for the school to make AYP. The target for reading was 50 percent of students being determined “proficient” (meeting or exceeding the standards); in math it was 20 percent. If any one of the subgroups does not reach the target in either content area, the school does not make AYP. In the first year, the school would go on “monitor” status and if it does not meet the target a second year in a row, it goes to “Continuous Improvement Priority School” status. Schools with less than 20 students in a subgroup are not included in the review for that subgroup.
The 2005-06 results would normally have been released last fall, but because of the shift to the SAT and a federal review of that test’s use as a high school assessment, the AYP results were delayed. We anticipate that the AYP report for the 2007 administration of the SAT will be released prior to the opening of school in the fall of 2007.
The AYP results show:
Achieving the reading target was, by far, more challenging to high schools than achieving the math target. Of the 70 schools that did not make AYP, none made AYP in reading; 21 did not make AYP for math and reading.
Education Commissioner Susan Gendron said the results provide vital information for high schools about which student populations are not performing to targets, and the number of schools not reaching the targets shows the need for action on high school reform.
The results cannot be compared to last year’s because the SAT reasoning test was used in place of the MEA as the high school assessment for the first time and the scores are not comparable.
In previous years, a school might still make AYP if it missed a target through a “safe harbor” provision if the school could show that the number of proficient students increased by 10 percent. That provision was not available in the 2005-6 testing year because the SAT scores could not be compared to the previous year’s scores to measure improvement. All schools will be required to meet 100 percent proficiency in whole group and all subgroups by 2014 under current federal law, though there are some efforts in Congress to make adjustments.
“The failure of many schools to meet the required targets is consistent with our position that schools are not meeting standards for all sub groups and that more work is necessary to bring all students to a higher level of achievement,” Gendron said. “The data gathered in the AYP process is extremely beneficial in helping schools to develop strategies for addressing academic achievement.”
Gendron noted that school districts and the Department of Education have been working to promote curriculum reforms in high schools to better prepare students for college, career and citizenship, including the commissioning of a study last year to examine why Maine’s test scores, once the highest in the nation, have remained flat while other states’ scores have climbed.
“That is why we are moving on reforming high school curriculum over the next few years, and have been partnering with educators on the development of those reforms,” Gendron said. “The use of the SAT in place of the MEA is part of that reform and is already showing signs of success, with anecdotal stories of students who were not considering college now seeing themselves as possible college material.
“We want every graduating student in the state to see him or herself as having the ability to go to a college or other post-secondary education, and to give it strong consideration,” Gendron said. “Even if not immediately after high school, students should see that as an option at some point.”
David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education, 207-624-6880
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