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Gates County pair meets AYP

GATESVILLE – The goal of the Federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is for all public school children to perform at grade level in reading and mathematics, and in Gates County, while three of the schools met expected goals, only two achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.

Gates County Public Schools Superintendent Robert F. Hahne said AYP is the minimum level of improvement that each student group within a school must achieve each year.

&uot;AYP is defined as a series of performance targets that states, school districts, and schools must achieve each year to meet the requirements of NCLB and every two years the state raises the benchmark,&uot; said Dr. Hahne. &uot;Improvement is measured by statewide target goals set increasingly higher and last year’s big jump in scores made it more difficult for our schools to achieve greater success this year; thus it appears they did not improve. When you get into the top percentile, as all our schools are, then there’s not much room up there for improvement.&uot;

Buckland and Gatesville Elementary Schools both achieved AYP with both meeting 17 of 17 target goals.

Schools failing to make AYP included T.S. Cooper Elementary, meeting 16 of 17 target goals; Central Middle School, which met 16 of 21 goals; and Gates County High, which met 14 of 17 goals.

Dr. Hahn added that North Carolina has defined statewide AYP target goals as a percentage of students in Grades 3-8 and Grade 10 expected to be at grade level in reading and mathematics each year. He also explained that the AYP takes test scores are broken down into 10 subgroups defined as students as a whole (all students), American Indian, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Multi-racial, White, Economically Disadvantaged (Free and Reduced Lunch), Limited English Proficient (LEP) and

Students with Disabilities (SWD).

&uot;They look at these subgroups and see how each of them did in reaching the benchmark, say for instance in math or reading,&uot; said Dr. Hahne. &uot;If just one student group in one subject at a school does not meet the targeted proficiency goal, then the school does not make Adequate Yearly Progress for that year. Schools must test at least 95 percent of students in each group.&uot;

Dr. Hahne also pointed out that no consequences apply to a school that misses AYP for one year. When a school finds out that it did not make AYP for the previous school year, they can use this information to identify areas that need attention and make necessary adjustments.

&uot;Schools must identify the specific areas needing improvement and work with parents, teachers, and experts to develop a plan to raise student achievement,&uot; he said. &uot;I do expect to see all five Gates County Schools on the AYP success list.&uot;