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Fewer Utah schools need improvement under No Child Left Behind

Posted - Aug. 9, 2010 at 12:07 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- More Utah schools met testing goals this year under No Child Left Behind standards than last year.


I'm very pleased to see eight schools climbing uphill because the bar is going up.

–- John Jesse


The Utah State Office of Education named eight improved elementary schools throughout the state. Those schools changed their failing status by achieving Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) two years in a row. However, another eight schools still need to make improvements.

Making the Grade
Title 1 Schools:

  • East Midvale Elementary
  • Midvale Elementary
  • Sandy Elementary
  • Hillsdale Elementary
  • Redwood Elementary
  • LaPoint Elementary
  • Heber Valley Elementary
  • Red Mountain Elementary

These schools -- given a failing label two years ago according to federal No Child Left Behind standards in either language arts or math -- improved two years in a row. Schools are evaluated based on standardized tests and must show annual progress in the two subjects to earn a passing grade.

"Eight of them have achieved that and exited ('Needs) Improvement.' That's a big deal," says John Jesse, director of assessment and accountability for the State Office of Education.

The eight schools, along with more than 250 others, are classified as low-income, or Title 1. They get roughly $60 million in extra federal support each year.

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"They're having to run faster while going uphill and eight schools managed to do that. That's what public education is about. That's what school improvement is about," Jesse says.

Eight other schools, however, did not make the cut. They are identified as needing improvement in language arts.

Need Improvement

  • Antelope Elementary, Davis District
  • Fremont Elementary, Davis District
  • Oquirrh Hills Elementary, Granite District
  • Farrer Elementary, Provo District
  • Timpanogos Elementary, Provo District
  • Monetezuma Creek Elementary, San Juan District
  • Coral Canyon Elementary, Washington District
  • Dual Immersion Academy

Six did not make AYP. Oquirrh Hills Elementary and Farrer Elementary made progress but must do so for two years in a row before they can make it off this list.

The number of schools still below proficiency standards is down to eight from 12 schools last year. State education officials say greater support from school districts help schools to improve.

Karl Wilson, state director of Title 1 programs, says, "They assess how well students are doing and deliver supports quickly when students are struggling with language arts and math curriculum."

If a Title 1 school does not meet federal requirements, it must notify parents before school starts. Parents can then decide whether their children will continue attending schools that did not achieve AYP or transfer to another school.

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Story compiled with contributions from Andrew Adams and Anne Forester.

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