All Fayette schools meet AYP
Fayette is among 27 systems in Georgia with 100 percent of its schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements in 2010. Of these systems, most have less than 10 schools compared to Fayette’s 28, according to school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.
All of Fayette’s schools have made AYP each of the seven years since the assessment was implemented, Berry-Dreisbach said, adding that AYP is one of the cornerstones of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is a measure of year-to-year student achievement on statewide assessments.
Georgia Dept. of Education spokesperson Matt Cordoza on Monday said fewer Georgia schools are in Needs Improvement (NI) status, according to the initial Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report released today. Just over 14 percent of schools are in NI status this year, compared to 15.4 percent last year. Thirty-five schools across the state shook the Needs Improvement label by having made AYP for two consecutive years.
"The initial AYP results demonstrate that our schools are more focused than ever and that is translating into fewer schools in Needs Improvement status," said State School Superintendent Brad Bryant. "However, the academic bar and the graduation rate requirement increased this year, leading to a smaller percentage of schools making AYP, which is something we will focus closely on over the next several months.”
More than 71 percent of Georgia's public schools made AYP, a drop from 79 percent of schools that made AYP last year. This drop is due in large part to the increase in the academic bar in mathematics that students in elementary and middle school had to meet in order for a school to make AYP. The graduation rate that high schools must meet also increased this year to 80 percent.
The percentage of high schools making AYP continues to lag behind. In 2010, just over 33 percent of the state's high schools made AYP, a decrease of almost 14 percentage points from 2009's initial results.
"We know there is a lot of hard work going on in our high schools, but we must provide more focused support for our students and teachers," Superintendent Bryant said. "I am committed to focusing on the needs of our high schools to ensure they are preparing students for the 21st century."
Cordoza said AYP is the formula used to determine if schools are meeting expectations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. It consists of three parts -- test participation, academic achievement and another statistic, called a "second indicator." The academic goals continue to rise every few years toward a goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2014. This year, the academic goal for grades 3-8 increased in mathematics and the graduation rate bar went up.
All students at a school, as well as any qualifying subgroup of students, must meet goals in all three categories in order to make AYP. Schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject are placed in Needs Improvement status and face escalating consequences, said Cordoza.
In order to make AYP, a high school had to have a graduation rate of
80 percent or higher, up from 75 percent last year. If a school did not make that goal, they could use a "second look" which means:
- Having a graduation rate that averaged 80 percent or higher over the past three years OR
- Having a graduation rate of at least 60 percent the previous year (2009) and showing a 10 percent improvement in the rate this year.
The state's initial 2010 graduation rate is 79.9 percent. That is up from the initial 2009 graduation rate of 77.8 percent and the final 2009 graduation rate of 78.9 percent, which included summer graduates.
"Improving the graduation rate is crucial to Georgia being competitive with other states in recruiting and retaining jobs," Superintendent Bryant said. "The more students graduating from high school with a meaningful diploma, the more students we have ready to go to college or enter the workforce. There is still more work to be done, but this year's graduation rate is an encouraging sign."