The state Minnesota Department of Education on Monday night released this year’s list of schools not making adequate yearly progress, one of the components of the oft-debated federal No Child Left Behind legislation. That law states that all children should be proficient by 2014 and the AYP list shows which schools are making sufficient progress toward that goal. Schools are rated by racial and demographic subgroups and failure by one of those groups to make the progress benchmarks can land the entire district on the list.
AYP uses MCA-II scores from reading and math. (MCA-IIs, or Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-Series II, are state tests given to students each year.)
Last year, 931 schools made the list. (In traditional education-speak, they have dubbed this "adequate yearly progress.") This year, 1,048 were named. In Rochester, 13 regular school sites were named. (Alternative Learning Programs and Burr Oak were excluded, since those buildings involve a small population and ALC's traditionally fail to meet AYP guidelines. Those students traditionally enroll at-risk students.)
Now, if your or your child's school is listed, it's probably not time to panic. (Alice Seagren actually says that in our article today.) The larger the school is and the more diverse the school population, the higher the chance the school lands on the AYP list. Of the top 20 school districts in the state, all were listed in some form on AYP.
(I have complied a list of our local schools that have always made AYP, which I hope to put together for a second-day article.)
Here are the local districts who were not cited on the list and made adequate yearly progress: Byron, Caledonia, Dover-Eyota, Fillmore Central, Hayfield, Kasson-Mantorville, Kingsland, Lanesboro, Lewiston-Altura, Mabel-Canton, Southland, Spring Grove, Wabasha-Kellogg, Zumbrota-Mazeppa.
While no one should be jumping out of windows, these tests do show that certain underserved populations are not meeting progress goals, for whatever reason. But for these tests to make any sort of difference, the discussions now need to turn from who isn't achieving, to why they aren't achieving.
Here is a .pdf file of the Rochester schools that have been cited this year.
Here is a .pdf file of all of the southeastern Minnesota schools that have been cited this year.
Here is a .xls file of all school data statewide, provided by Minnesota Department of Education. (Microsoft Exce file, works in OpenOffice, too.)
For some reason, the article still isn't online, so here it is (I'll remove this and put the link here once it goes live):
By Elliot Mann / Post-Bulletin
Thirteen Rochester public schools — along with 46 percent of Minnesota’s schools statewide — have been named to this year’s list of schools not making yearly progress goals.
Two Rochester schools have landed on the list enough consecutive times that parents at the school can now choose to send them to another district site. Those schools are Pinewood and Riverside Central elementary schools. Parents will be presented with the choice of sending their children to other specific schools. However, Franklin Elementary School, which was cited last year, came off the list this year.
The state Minnesota Department of Education on Monday night released this year’s list of schools not making adequate yearly progress, one of the components of the oft-debated federal No Child Left Behind legislation. That law states that all children should be proficient by 2014 and the AYP list shows which schools are making sufficient progress toward that goal.
Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said that from 2006 to 2009, the state has seen constant gains, even if the numbers aren’t keeping pace with No Child Left Behind requirements.
“The bottom line for me is about half made AYP and about half did not,” Seagren said. “There’s not a need to panic though. ... We’re seeing steady progress. Is it fast enough in some subgroups? No, but we’re not seeing our state going backward.”
Schools are rated by racial and demographic subgroups and failure by one of those groups to make the progress benchmarks can land the entire district on the list. As a district, Rochester was cited in these populations this year: reading proficiency of English language learners, math proficiency of black students and low-income students, and both reading and math proficiency of special education students.
Superintendent of Rochester public schools Romain Dallemand said schools here are performing well in the big picture. Among all district sites, Rochester is rated by more than 300 different demographic categories.
“We’re looking at 316 categories and we’re only cited in 41,” Dallemand said. “That’s an 88 percent success rate. That’s very good.”