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Beyond the "No"

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We learned this week that about a third of Utah’s schools aren’t making Adequate Yearly Progress under guidelines put forth by national No Child Left Behind standards.

Parents shouldn’t get too worked up about the negative results. And in no way, should any school with a “no” beside its name be identified as a so-called “failing school.”

Indeed, it is important to look beyond the “no.”

No Child Left Behind has noble objectives. It would be grand if every student among all racial, socio-economic, English proficiency and disability groups could make Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP toward 100 percent proficiency in reading and math.

In KSL’s view, though, the report card for measuring AYP is seriously flawed and doesn’t reflect reality. Foremost, a school could receive a negative AYP report merely because one or two students in a particular ethnic group didn’t show up on test day.

To truly understand a school’s standing, parents need to take the time to become familiar with the reporting system. Look at all of the numbers on each school’s report card.

We suspect school officials and district experts will be more than happy to help put the results in proper perspective.

With No Child Left Behind, KSL believes a mere “yes” or “no” is an unjust and potentially misleading measure in view of the complexity of the data.

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