Did your school make AYP?

AYP is here!

The Georgia Department of Education released the annual report showing whether schools made the testing goals required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. See the state’s report here. Check out the AJC database here.

We’re still reviewing the results but it appears to be a mixed bag.

Less than half of the high schools – just 47 percent – made AYP this year.

State officials say part of the reason is because the graduation rate requirement increased to 75 percent this year from 70 percent last year.

Still, why do high schools continue to be such a problem?

Another problem is that the number of schools classified as “needs improvement” remained about the same. Georgia has 334 needs improvement schools this year, compared to 340 last year.

The number remained about the same even though 58 schools improved enough to shed this label. That means nearly as many schools stumbled and got on the list. Why aren’t we seeing more improvement? Are weak schools getting weaker?

Also, I know many of you were wondering whether the four schools accused of cheating on last summer’s CRCT retest would make AYP this year. Atlanta’s Deerwood Academy, DeKalb County’s Atherton Elementary, Fulton County’s Parklane Elementary made it. Burroughs-Molette Elementary in Glynn County did not and is a needs improvement school.

There were some good signs. More schools made AYP this year – about 79 percent compared to about 69 percent in 2008. That’s because of strong gains by elementary and middle schools.

Why should you care about the results?

If your school didn’t make AYP, students could be eligible for free tutoring or the chance to transfer to a better performing school. The school may be required to adopt a new curriculum or hire new teachers or a different principal.

If your school made AYP, it wins recognition and possibly some extra money. Your school also could receive students transferring from schools that failed to make the cut.

62 comments Add your comment

ScienceTeacher671

July 14th, 2009
12:09 pm

Why are high schools such a problem? Because we get all the students who couldn’t pass the 8th grade CRCT (which means they are reading and/or doing math at a 4th grade level or below) and were socially promoted anyway…

Or we get the students who just barely passed the 8th grade CRCT, which means they might be reading and/or doing math at a 5th or 6th grade level…

And we’re supposed to get them ready for college.

LAURA, why don’t you see if the DOE will tell you the reading levels of each of the high school EOCTs and GHSGTs? I’d be willing to bet that those socially promoted students can’t READ the tests, much less pass them…but I’d also be willing to bet that the DOE either “doesn’t have” or won’t give you the information.

melica moore

July 14th, 2009
12:19 pm

my child dont make the list i wamt change transfer to better school paulding county high school

Ernest

July 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

It may have been an oversight on Laura’s part but you can see the report at:

http://www.gadoe.org/ayp2009.aspx

They added filters on the spreadsheets (which is good) but they seem to be on the wrong row…

Reba

July 14th, 2009
1:47 pm

These ratings are a joke – there are schools that made AYP with students who cannot even read. I look foward to the day, hopefully soon, when these debacle called NCLB is history.

Why ask why?

July 14th, 2009
1:48 pm

Laura wants to know why. Why? Why? Why?

Because the whole thing is a numbers game, designed and executed with little to no integrity. Not unlike the AJC in that regard.

Rosie

July 14th, 2009
2:27 pm

I might be wrong, but I don’t think reading levels are indicated on the GHSGT or EOCT reports. The last reading levels available would probably come from the 8th grade CRCT.

Surprised? No

July 14th, 2009
3:08 pm

Osborne High School has now not made it for 5 consecutive years but it is a school that is an option for HB 251. How does that make sense? I am so glad that my freshman will not attend there this year. Bring on the school choice Cobb County!

Sharon

July 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

My son’s school Hiram Elementary made it this year but because of redistricting he will be attending Bessie Baggett Elementary this year. They have never met AYP. Can I ask to keep my son at Hiram? I really don’t want him at an underperforming school. We use to live in DeKalb County and I really don’t want a repeat of that experience.

Cere

July 14th, 2009
3:21 pm

I find the data interesting when you dig down. Many schools are in failure due to certain sub-group scores. Make sure that you aren’t running away from your failing school because they didn’t make AYP in the Students With Disabilities or English Language Learners or Low Income groups. If you aren’t in one of those groups, check out the scores of the group you are in. You may find that your child will do just fine at a school where others struggle. That’s the good thing NCLB does: identifies sub-groups who need help. The bad thing is, they put a failing mark on the whole school due to those low scores of one sub-group. That’s not really helping the sub-group.

ScienceTeacher671

July 14th, 2009
3:29 pm

Lexiles are provided on the CRCT and GHSGT reports in English/Language Arts. They are not provided for the other high school tests, but as others on this blog have noted, there is a significant reading component on all the tests, even the math tests.

Some information about the reading levels of the CRCT at various grade levels and the GHSGT can be found in the state’s testing newsletter, which can be found online in the Testing section of the DOE website. The chart on page 18 of that newsletter shows that students at the bottom passing range of the CRCT (and those who fail but are socially promoted) are not reading well enough to read and comprehend high school textbooks — although they may read well enough to comprehend the ELA part of the GHSGT.

Your typical high school physical science or biology textbook has a Lexile score in the range of 1050-1150. A student who has made the minimum passing score on the 8th grade CRCT has a Lexile of 805, and will not be able to read/comprehend a high school science book — and perhaps not any of the other textbooks, either. (Many of us who teach science and social studies think this is part of the reason students have such a hard time passing those parts of the GHSGT.) Can those minimally passing students read & comprehend the state’s math tests? Who knows?

Ernest

July 14th, 2009
3:58 pm

This will be interesting when you factor in HB 251. I though I understood that some seats were ‘held back’ in anticipation of various schools being ‘receiving schools’. If they are no longer considered recieving schools, will we ask the school districts to update their lists for compliance with HB 251?

ScienceTeacher671

July 14th, 2009
4:04 pm

**Noting another missing/delayed post**

Interesting that the last day for choice under HB251 was the day before the AYP report came out.

Neicy

July 14th, 2009
4:11 pm

@ Reba. I agree with you. NCLB needs to be repealed. There are 22 HS here in Dekalb and 15 of them are on the ‘Needs Improvement’ list. We used the NCLB transfer last year for my middle schooler, now that school is on the list. I GIVE UP. I cannot move her again. I am doing all I can with both of my children. I smell a RAT, bigtime! It is defnitely not working. SEGREGATION LIVES ON, only this time it is the haves and have nots- it is now known as CLASSICISM.

Triple Dawg

July 14th, 2009
4:15 pm

Am I the only who has a problem with the fact that attendance is factored into AYP? As a teacher, it is not my fault if parents do not make their children come to school. Having attended schools that always made AYP and having worked in schools that have not made AYP, I see it as a sham. With small subgroups able to keep a school from making AYP and attendance and graduation rates (yes schools should encourage attendance, but it is not the school’s fault if a student drops out), AYP is a mess!

MrLiberty

July 14th, 2009
4:18 pm

Does anyone honestly believe these schools have actually improved? Do you honestly think that the only school changing grades or otherwise cheating is the one that made the news?

A private non-governmental solution is the only thing that will EVER address the inherent failure of government run anything. Why hasn’t that become obvious to society? They have only been failing for over 150 years.

MrLiberty

July 14th, 2009
4:19 pm

Spencer

July 14th, 2009
4:23 pm

I worked at the DOE and I would not trust any number that comes out of Cathy Cox’s Office – the school districts use excel sheets to submit their number instead of allowing the state to pull the numbers directly

Mario S.

July 14th, 2009
4:30 pm

Wow…I cannot believe the shear number of DeKalb county schools failing to meet AYP. What an embarassment.

Jameelah

July 14th, 2009
4:33 pm

I am so glad that once again Brookview Elementary in Eastpoint, GA has made AYP again for the 8th year in a row. Thanks to the wonderful Faculty and Students. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ECON Educator

July 14th, 2009
4:33 pm

There are some bad teachers and even a few bad schools, but the vast majority of schools are merely reflective of the students who attend. If a school has students who are motivated and have parents who want them to succeed, then they will have great test scores. If a school draws from a poor community with apathetic parents and unmotivated students, then their test scores will likely be poor.

Exceptional teachers and school leaders can make a difference, but the problem with our profession is that everyone is expected to be exceptional. Most teachers (as in any profession) are not going to be singularly committed to saving every student, but society expects miracle workers. Nothing helps a child learn and succeed at the highest levels like quality parenting.

Its a joke.

July 14th, 2009
4:35 pm

Why aren’t more schools improving?
1. SWD. This sub group keeps most schools and districts from making AYP. Having their scores count makes no sense. All of these students have IEP’s, most of which state they are performing below grade level in certain areas, (I had one student in 7th grade who was reading at a 1st grade level) yet these students are expected to pass grade level tests. As the little instruction guide says “If one sub group does not meet the goals then the entire school does not make AYP.”
2. The sub groups. You have 2 students. One is a white child (or black or latino) in a nice middle class environment. That child fails, you get hit once. One is a half black, half latino child, who’se first language is not English, living on welfare, with an IEP, then you count in 7 sub groups. So if that child fails, that school gets hit 7 times on its AYP. Now, honestly who is more likely to fail? Why should one student hurt a school once, and another child hurt a school 7 times? Remember if one sub group fails, the entire school fails.
3. Schools have no control over the kids and where they go. My school failed to make AYP last year because 5 of our students were kicked out of school and ordered to attend a reform type school within our district. My school had no control over the education of these 5 students, yet when it came time for their CRCT tests (which they took at their reform school) their scores counted for my school. So we are counting scores, attendance, etc. in the state of GA for students who DONT ATTEND THE SCHOOL LISTED IN THE DATA. If you look in the data for Chatham county you won’t find the Scott Alternative School yet hundreds of kids go there. Hmmmm….
4. Poorly designed tests. The state threw out tests last year, threw them out this year and again next year. Curriculum has changed drastically, etc. Is it possible that the test is flawed and does not actually measure the standards being taught?
5. When tests are given. In my district, the test is given with 6 weeks of school left to go. So in fact the test does not measure progress for the school year, only for about 75% of it. Why do other states, like VA, give their state tests with 1 or 2 weeks left in the school year. According to the curriculum website, the new standards go into “greater depth” then the previous standards. So if you go into greater depth, logically one would assume you would need MORE time not LESS time to assess. The 8th grade writing test is given in January! Thats only 50% of the school year done to measure the progress of a student’s writing.

Why should you care about the results?

You SHOULDN’T. AYP is determined in this state mainly on the standardized test and really that’s it. The test itself has proven to be flawed, proven not to align with the curriculum (6th and 7th grade social studies), proven to be graded unfairly to students, proven to be graded unfairly for schools, not given at the end of a course when assessments should be given but rather 75% through the course, proven to be nothing but a joke in the state of GA. Parents, students and teachers are being lied to over and over and over again, but education isn’t important in the south.

Mel

July 14th, 2009
4:40 pm

Why are we celebrating? Overall the test scores did come up from the previous year but they are still pathetic in the math and science areas. Does Georgia set the bar so low that we get excited if there is only a 30-40% fail rate in certain categories? My elementary school had horrible results and yet they were up from last year and once again made AYP and this is good?

Beverly and Sonny stop the squabbling over the cheating and address the bigger issues, we are still well below national averages and still far off the mark in science and math.

Jessie

July 14th, 2009
4:43 pm

Congratulations to WHS and BHS. Consistent policies, administrators that demand compliance and quality instructions leads to schools meeting requirments.

David S

July 14th, 2009
4:45 pm

Why do you keep trying to justify what you are subjecting your children to? These schools fundamentally are never going to change because THEY DONT HAVE TO. They have your money and the money of everyone else in our state. You must withdraw your support for the system and demand and end to government involvement in education. Your kids deserve at least that amount of effort on your part.

ECON Educator

July 14th, 2009
4:56 pm

If David were to have his way, only the wealthy would have quality schooling. Only parents with the neccessary resources would have access to education. Even middle class families would find it difficult to educate their children. Public schooling has developed some of the finest thinkers of our generation. A vast majority of adults with college degrees came from public institutions of learning. Like most who attack public schools, David doesn’t suggest a credible alternative. By the way David, there is not a single nation in the world with a high standard of living that does not have a public system of education. There appears to be a substantial link between Per Capita GDP and public investment in education.

jim d

July 14th, 2009
5:12 pm

Well then econ teach, based soley upon the amount of money spent in the US on education we should have the very best system in the WORLD.

GUESS WHAT??

Dedicated40Years

July 14th, 2009
5:20 pm

I am so disgusted with the AYP results. Most of the schools who did not make the cut are in the south end of Dekalb County. Let’s face the fact that these schools are majority black!
Someone is playing games with our children’s education in Dekalb County.
I wish that parents get mad as held and call for an investigation on how the students perform on a one by one analysis for each student in each school.
I am a hard working teacher and I know that we have GREAT ACHIEVERS in our schools.

Harry

July 14th, 2009
5:28 pm

Too many excuses for too many years, by people who should be ashamed of their scholastic failure and just keep it going and going and going………

6th grade teacher

July 14th, 2009
5:33 pm

Being a teacher at a school that previously did not make AYP and did this year….yes, we are improving, my late nights looking at new methods, working with other teachers, and finding new ways to motivate students, makes me very proud of my students and cannot wait until they hear our news!

Dedicated40Years

July 14th, 2009
5:34 pm

I know how to spell held correctly, however I want to be kind. I noticed that when the DOE met to determine the fate of the cheating schools, the DOE is not with people of color. How does one get on this board? Kathy Cox is a great disappointment as a leader, because she has so many personal issues. She says that cheating is a disgrace. What happened to the teachers in Qwinnett County who admitted cheating? I believe they were white. Did they just disappear into space? I smell more than rats!!!!!!!!

Gwinnett Parent

July 14th, 2009
6:03 pm

Please, we are all missing the bigger picture and being fooled by our GDOE and these tests. The bar is set so low, we can trip over it. Unless the student is performing at the “exceeds” expectation level, they are not going to be competitive in a four year university. The GDOE pretty much admits that any lower performance below “exceeds” and the student is going to need to go through remedial classes.

Jerry

July 14th, 2009
6:08 pm

Seriously, why does Georgia have so many idiots? The technology is lacking here, common sense is lacking here, it’s like this state is stuck in the 50’s still. I guess dumb people breed more dumb people. What can you do.

ann

July 14th, 2009
6:22 pm

How does a school make AYP when more than 50% of the 6th grade FAILS to pass the CRCT in Math? Oh, yes 6th grade scores don’t count toward AYP. What a farce!

Mike

July 14th, 2009
6:22 pm

When do you think the report will come out that there was a major fraud scandel in the reporting of these grades? Just saying..be ready in 6 months for that one.

dbow

July 14th, 2009
6:33 pm

My school made AYP and I’m very proud of the hard work my students did. I know I busted my rear to get them to learn 7th grade math and I only had one student fail the CRCT. Maybe the test is a shell game and maybe it’s not, but right now it’s the only measuring stick the state uses and as flawed as it is, it gives me an indication of where the student’s strengths and weaknesses are. Usually it’s in the Algebra standard, but not always. I wonder if this is true in other schools. Just remember that new teachers are going to follow the lead of we, the veterans. We need to show them that it’s not all gloom and doom in education. The system will take care of itself and we should all know that what really matters is what we do when we shut that door and leave the politics and BS out in the hall.

ScienceTeacher671

July 14th, 2009
6:52 pm

Gwinnett Parent, you are entirely correct – according to the DOE’s own website, students who merely “meet expectations” on the CRCT will not have the ability to successfully read a textbook at their grade level, beginning with the first grade.

Don’t believe me? Go here:

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/Testing%20Newsletter%202008.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6B1CB229BA255213CD81C3D30ADC4DACFD4ABE7032E31F60D&Type=D

and read pages 17 and 18. Compare the bottom Lexile for “meets” expectations with the bottom Lexile for textbooks at that grade level. A student who is “proficient” in reading (according to the DOE) “will probably experience some difficulty comprehending the text materials typical of that grade level” — which doesn’t sound very “proficient” to me.

IMO, this is the TRUE “cheating scandal” in the state of Georgia. Where’s the outrage?

ECON Educator

July 14th, 2009
7:08 pm

Once again we have a detractor (Jim D) with no solution. By the way Jim D, Georgia rank toward the bottom in per student expenditure. Some of the states with higher test scores than Georgia spend almost twice as much per student.

There really is no great solution. Vouchers haven’t worked. (And I am a follower of Economist Milton Friedman who developed the idea of school vouchers.) The real question we should be asking is how do we make education important to students. In some cultures, education is highly valued and students are pushed to succeed by parents and family. Many parents dump their children off at the schools and say “raise my child.”

Schools have had to become more than just institutions of learning. They have become another form of social services. We are supposed to keep the crime rate down, defend the nation (does anyone remember Sputnik), teach character and values, and fight against teen pregnancy. (By the way, I wonder if anyone has looked at a connection between teen pregancy rates and our drop out rates. That may be a larger part of the problem than we know.)

Dedicated40Years

July 14th, 2009
7:12 pm

STUDENTS who are exceeding on the terrible CRCT TESTS are the students who exceeded on the ITBS TESTS from grades 1-8. These students were placed in high performing schools and they had the brain base needed to perform above and beyond expectations. My grandson is gifted, and he will remain at his school that continues to make AYP in the south end of Dekalb County. I WILL NOT SEND HIM OUT OF HIS NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL COMMUNITY. I AM GOING TO FIGHT TO MAKE OUR SCHOOLS BETTER AND COMPETE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE GREAT STUDENTS WHO DO WHAT IS EXPECTED. COME ON PARENTS GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!

FedUpParent

July 14th, 2009
7:45 pm

As a parent to tried to be involved at Columbia Middle School in SE Dekalb, I am done. I’m taking my 7th grader to a private school where my efforts to work with them will be appreciated. The ‘dictator’ at CMS prevents the teachers from doing their job, does not run the magnet program effectively, and will not listen to any parent trying to improve their child’s learning experience. Of course, CMS did not make AYP again. I also realize the problems with education in Georgia begins in the home. Many parents do not care or know what is required of their child, which results in low performance.

And I second the motion to get rid of the stupid CRCT test. SE Dekalb also prevents parents from having a school choice so the students will never get ahead in this school district.

parent

July 14th, 2009
7:54 pm

I’m trying hard to make a difference and it is harder than giving birth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are fortunate enough to have your child(ren) at a school and you have a good teacher….stay with it. I’m trying to teach my kids to ask questions and go back to the teacher because I don’t know how to explain how I know the answers…….that’s why I’m not a teacher and that’s why I don’t homeschool.. If you’re at a school where more discipline is going forth than teaching…..move your child don’t stand on the fact that they must attend their neighborhood school because unless they are self learners they will miss fundamentals and while they might get a scholarship to attend college….they just might loose it because the opportunity to learn was snuffed out because of discipline issues……

I’m tired of people saying that those who leave aren’t involved parents that’s not always true. I’ve worked my butt off and I’m tired. I have to focus on my kids getting what they need and if while I’m doing that some other child benefits….great but no more trying to make it happen for all children in my neighborhood or not while my child get lost in the transition or process………………..

jim d

July 14th, 2009
8:26 pm

oh my! econ teach,

You obviously haven’t been following this blog long, for I have on numerous occasions eluded to a method of improvement that has been proven to accomplish curing many of the ills our public schools face.

Problem is NO ONE IS LISTENING. It’s a simple little word called “CHOICE”. Personally I tire of explaining the concept time and again so I’d suggest you do a little research on your own. Choice schools do work.

Now HAGD.

jim d

July 14th, 2009
8:34 pm

This whole damn thing is nothing more than a shell game folks, why the hell do so many people keep falling for it? A simple numbers game folks to detract from the real issues with education. By creating this smoke screen the powers to be do not have to fix anything, just keep dealing.

That's Right

July 14th, 2009
8:45 pm

Ditto Fed Up parent……I’ve worked hard trying and trying and bumping my head against an unwilling administration and uncontrollable students. I’m heading for the hills…..anyone that thinks South Dekalb is equal to North Dekalb…….come on by and let me sell you some swamp land that’s about to blow up………………………. I hope it can turn around and I’m equally sure it will be long after my children are gone….it’s not enough to get into college with scholarships…….they need to be able to maintain them and finish college…..how many of our children have muddled through these low performing schools only to loose their scholarships because they were not prepared……..

6th grade teacher

July 14th, 2009
8:56 pm

Just to claify: 6th grade scores do count for AYP- however pure numbers are not what determines AYP- you have to look at each school’s previous years scores and MANY other factors. In the fall (wish it were sooner) each school should have a “report card” that gives very detailed information- the scores provided are not all that factors into AYP.

Rex Mill Rocks!

July 14th, 2009
9:17 pm

I am pleased to announce that RMMS of Clayton County has made AYP for three consecutive years! We work hard when school is in session and when it is not! The bottom line is all children (sub-groups included) will produce what is expected! If you expect greatness it will come! Congrats to all the schools that made AYP for the 2008-2009 school year!

ECON Educator

July 14th, 2009
9:23 pm

Jim D,

I noticed you failed to comment on the other information I stated about schools and financing.

By the way, where has school choice worked? In Wisconsin? No. In Cleveland? No. There is no successful example of school choice working to help poor students. Parents who take advantage of the opportunity to select their child’s school are usually parents of students who are already successful. TEST SCORES FOLLOWED THE STUDENTS. You are blaming teachers for a societal problem. Look at Georgia. Atlanta suburban schools score high on standardized tests and compare well to national/international statistics. Poor rural and urban schools in Georgia have poor scores. Do you think these students would majically do well if they were simply moved to another school? Give me a break. Your playing a shell game with the students. Think about it. Walton high school usually has the highest test scores in the state. Swap their students with students from a poor urban school with terrible scores. Do you really believe the high scoring students from Walton will start failing and the low scoring students from the poor school will start achieving at the highest levels? Stop blaming teachers for the ills of our society and culture.

Legend of Len Barker

July 14th, 2009
9:32 pm

It’s sad that CRCT is the only marker the state uses to determine how good a school is.

A school’s livelihood is evaluated by how the kids do on one week of standardized tests. That may or may not square with the curriculum the state has told the teachers to teach. That usually falls in line with spring break.

The state does not evaluate socioeconomic factors. It does not look at what resources are available for teachers or students; I would say that 50% of our kids have never seen Atlanta and the only culture any of them have ever seen is the fungus growing in the bathroom. The CRCT does not look at the ethnic makeup of the school beyond using it against you (it’s never for you unless you don’t have enough students to count).

It’s basically an evaluation of how much Johnny cares this morning. While attendance can be used as your secondary factor, the fate of school rests at times on if Susie’s mom cares enough to wake her up and send her to school more than two days per week.

The state doesn’t care if Billy moved to school two days before the test after one parent dumped him another. It doesn’t care that all of Billy’s school performance was at XYZ Middle School at the opposite end of the state. It only cares how Billy does in ABC Middle, since that’s where he’s taking the test.

It’s tremendously flawed.

The local middle school once failed because it housed all the special education children. Severe mental handicaps. They were labeled middle schoolers because they were on the campus, even though these kids ranged in age from 6 to 17. The state refused to hear our appeal.

Mainly because we didn’t have pull or influence. The neighboring richer county had a very similar situation and they were OK’d.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. We found a legal loophole in staying AYP approved.

We created an alternative school. A career academy, if you may. The vast majority of kids are behind academically. Way behind. We kept the attendance low. So low that the state doesn’t measure them.

That kept us going for a few years. Move a small packet of borderline kids. They won’t be measured, but the others will.

ScienceTeacher671

July 14th, 2009
9:33 pm

Studies of the DC voucher program showed that in general students at the worst schools were also the least likely to take advantage of the voucher program.

Amused...

July 14th, 2009
9:37 pm

I just got off the MACE website http://www.theteachersadvocate.com). Apparently the DeKalb school board attorney (Josey Alexander) thinks that she can scare John Trotter about writing articles about Crawford Lewis. Wow. Trotter lit in to her and made her look like a fool. I see that the entire school system of DeKalb did not make AYP. Why does that stupid DeKalb school board keep Crawford Lewis? I agree with Trotter. Lewis is a loser and a JOKE!!!

high school teacher

July 14th, 2009
9:41 pm

ECON educator,

I certainly don’t blame teachers for all of the problems; however, we do have to share some blames. Unfortunately, the level of “average” teachers in GA is lower than “average” of many other states, and certainly lower than countries like Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, etc. There are certainly some exceptional teachers, but there are many exceptionally bad teachers. However, both extremes are minority – the majority, average teachers, unfortunately, are mediocre at best.