2009-07-29 / Front Page

Miller County Schools AYP reports are in

MCHS falls short on AYP

The 2008-2009 AYP reports for the three Miller County Schools have been received. The Miller County Elementary School and Miller County Middle School both met AYP. However, the high school fell short this year.

All public schools in Georgia are judged each year in terms of AYP that has been established by the State in accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The criteria used by the State in this determination include: (1) 95% test participation, (2) annual measurable objectives (AMO) in the areas of reading/language arts and mathematics, and (3) a second indicator.

Ninety-five percent test participation means that on the day of testing in any school, 95% or above of the student population must be present and take the test. As unlikely as it may seem, in a small school system like ours, the absence of one or two students in a given grade on the test day could result in failure of this criterion.

Annual measurable objectives actually refer to the student performance on the tests mandated by the State. These tests include the CRCT in reading/language arts and mathematics in grades 1-8, and the English Language Arts and Mathematics portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test. The State determines the minimum passing score for these tests.

The second indicator is different for different schools. For our high school the second indicator is the graduation rate, a rate that is determined by measuring the number of incoming freshmen that complete high school within four years. For our elementary and middle schools, the second indicator is school attendance, which is determined by measuring the daily attendance for the year of these students.

The State checks all three criteria for each school, and as long as a school's numbers are at or above the State's cut-off for these areas, the school will meet AYP. AYP is essentially a report card grade to help schools and the community evaluate the school's performance. Miller County schools have consistently met AYP. In fact, Miller County High School and Miller County Middle School both received awards last year for outstanding performance based on AYP.

Miller County Elementary and Miller County Middle School both met AYP on the latest AYP report (2009). However, Miller County High School, as did many other high schools across the state this year, did not.

One reason many high schools fell short this year was the implementation of Enhanced AYP scores for English Language Arts and Mathematics. In other words, the State raised the score needed to meet AYP. Although all of our AMO scores have been at or above the State level in the past, our high school mathematics score this year fell below the new higher State cut-off.

Also, the State divides the data for the three areas of AYP into subcategories of students for a closer analysis of the performance of specific groups of students within the school. One of our subgroups, Student with Disabilities, also fell below the State cut-off score system wide.

"Under NCLB public schools that do not met AYP in the first year face no consequences. However, we constantly review our scores in all areas in all schools, and we are already making the necessary changes within our programs to help correct any weaknesses.As the State sets higher sta ndards, our goal in Miller County is to continue to go beyond these standards.," said school officials.

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