AYP progress

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 12, 2006

The results are in – and Selma and Dallas County school systems have something to brag about. They also have some work to do with a total of five schools that failed to meet the 100 percent goal from the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results, which were received earlier this week from the state department of education.

The AYP is a product of President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), where it’s ultimate goal is for all school districts to be 100 percent in reading and mathematics by the year 2014 according to Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. James Carter.

The Alabama Department of Education states that, “the AYP status of schools and school systems is based on achievement on assessments of the state’s academic content standards, participation rates on these assessments and meeting the Additional Academic Indicators (AAI),” which is determined by attendance rates for elementary and middle schools and graduation and dropout rates for high schools.

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The results are then broken down by economic background, race and ethnicity, English proficiency and disability.

Alabama schools and systems have five to 39 AYP goals to meet in one academic year. If a school fails to make just one of its goals, it does not make AYP. If a school does not make AYP for two consecutive years, it is placed on School Improvement status and receives training and assistance from the Alabama School Improvement Initiative to get back on track. This year a few schools showed improvement above last year and some schools, such as Southside, Keith and Dallas County High continue to fight the dropout rate, which is one of the goals for passing the AYP.

Keith High principal Grady Broadnax said the school is working on improving its dropout rate, but admits it’s something “you can hardly control.” Broadnax is correct, in that an educator can only do so much to keep kids in schools.

The school system, its principals and teachers can only sell them on the fact that without an education their hopes and dreams will be slim to none. Unfortunately, they can’t go into the homes and sell their parents on the idea.

The AYP is a good measuring stick of our school systems. Unfortunately, teachers are paying the penalty for parents not keeping their kids in school until graduation. The AYP testing holds our educators accountable, now we just need to hold the parents accountable.