The state releases its list of schools today that made adequate yearly progress and those that didn’t, setting off a chain of transfers of students out of Needs Improvement schools to higher performing schools that met AYP, as mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
But many parents wonder about the wisdom and the timing of AYP status.
Here is a copy of a note that one parent sent to the state Department of Education about the late timing of this process:
I am very concerned about the timing of the release of even preliminary ESEA (AYP) results.
Please help me understand why it takes until late July for April test results to be made available. I understand that principals and districts must certify results, but these tasks should be of the highest priority. Georgia DOE deadlines should be tight and enforced.
School starts three weeks from today and parents still do not know how AYP status will impact their child. I am a DeKalb county resident (sigh!) and the uproar of AYP transfers affects every single high school student. You can’t imagine the distraction, the massive rescheduling required for receiving schools, and the waste of energy each year.
I understand that DCSS bears most of the responsibility for this issue, but the Georgia DOE holds all of the cards since it controls the data and the release of the data to parents. Please tell me what the Georgia DOE will do differently next year to release AYP data at a reasonable, not last-minute, date.
Here is a note to me from a DeKalb parent about whether these transfers even improve student outcomes:
Have you ever addressed in your coverage of the DeKalb County School System whether the mandated AYP transfer program for students actually improves student performance?
I ask because at the county presentation Dr. Beasley confirmed that the county has never tracked academic progress, graduation rates or rate of return for the millions of dollars invested in implementing the AYP transfer option out of Needs Improvement schools under NCLB. All of that money invested in a program to which we have no clear understanding if it even works for these students who leave their home schools.
Better solutions for fixing schools must exist rather than creating chaos in other succeeding schools. Mark your calendar for certainly, if we must receive all of these transfer students, we will not have settled schedules, classrooms, teaching and support staff until after Labor Day when counts are determined for teaching points; one month of education compromised due to lack of foresight.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog