School "AYP" Reports Released Today

School "AYP" Reports Released Today

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Sandra Yi reporting New reports, released today, show whether Utah public schools are making "adequate yearly progress" in reading and math.

The report measures student academic -performance and is part of President Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' law.

AYP is an important and complicated report. Districts say, the information can be useful to parents. But it's only one additional tool to measure student performance.

Public schools today released a new and controversial report card of sorts that measures school performance.

Scott Richard Nelson, Asst. Principal, Northwest Middle School: "Every student, all students really matter to us, and we want to be able to make guided decisions based on phenomenal pieces of information and that's what this helps us do."

'Adequate Yearly Progress' or AYP sets academic achievement goals under the federal 'No Child Left Behind' law. The idea is to have all students proficient in reading and math, in 10 years. AYP is based on standardized test scores for students in grades 3 to 8 and one set of tests in high school.

A school makes AYP based on participation, achievement and attendance.

But critics say results may seem misleading.

No high school in the Salt Lake City School district passed AYP standards because not enough kids took the tests. At least 95 percent of students must have taken the tests.

A school may also not make AYP because of a particular subgroup of students. Northwest Middle School, for example, failed to make AYP because 3 subgroups of kids, including disabled and Hispanic students, did not test at their grade levels.

Scott Richard Nelson, Asst. Principal, Northwest Middle School:: "is it frustrating to be labeled 'no' for the entire school because of a couple of subgroup? Yes, it's frustrating but let's take a look at the opportunity we have to pinpoint a group of students what their specific problems are and then address those."

Jason Olsen, Salt Lake City School District: "It's not the end all, be all of school improvement. There's many other ways to measure success."

Parents are encouraged to look at their child's school report and call the school with any questions.

The state office of education will post state wide school reports online tomorrow.

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