Archive for Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reading scores trip up district

September 17, 2009

De Soto USD 232 failed to make Annual Yearly Progress on state assessments despite district students improving proficiency levels on subjects tested last spring during state assessments.

AYP is the process of evaluating student performance in public schools, districts and states to ensure all students score at standard level or above by 2014 – a requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act. Scores from standardized tests are compiled from students in third grade to twelfth grade to calculate AYP.

The De Soto district achieved AYP in math and science, but did not meet AYP standards for reading.

In 2009, 91.9 percent of students in USD 232 met or exceeded the AYP reading goal. However, the district’s 35 students in the English Language Learners program did not reach the state goal. The state target required 76.7 percent of ELL students to be proficient and only 64.9 percent of those students met the goal.

In 2008, 91.5 percent of students in the district achieved reading goals.

In the math portion of the report, 88.9 percent of students in the district met or exceeded requirements. In 2008, 87.9 percent of students reached the goal.

Science saw the greatest leap for meeting requirements with 95.1 percent of students achieving goal in 2009, while 92.5 percent achieved goal in 2008.

Students in USD 232 outscored the average state achievement in all three categories for 2009. The state average for reading was 85.8 percent, 83.5 percent for math and 86.6 percent for science.

The only school in the district to not make AYP for 2009 was Starside Elementary.

According to a district report, the school did not make AYP in reading because of three student subgroups: free & reduced, ELL and Hispanic students.

Earl Martin, district director of teaching and learning, said the district would focus on its English As a Second Language Program improve the scores.

“We’re really focusing on ESL and particularly this year. Because not only Starside but the area in the district that we need to focus on. We are doing coordination with our ESL (English as a second language) teachers that we haven’t had to the same extent in the past,” Martin said. “Many of those groups represent the same student. It’s actually a very small number of students who we are making sure we identify and meet their needs.”

Martin said Starside and the district would not face consequences for not meeting AYP this year. The state has worked to create a group of officials to act as consultants for schools that miss AYP two years in a row.

“Currently there are no consequences that are applied,” he said. “It’s an attention getter that makes sure you are being as strategic as possible. We have the chance to fix the problem.”

Of the 295 districts in Kansas, 261 met or exceeded AYP targets for the 2008-2009 school year.


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