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State Releases 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress Results

 MEDIA CONTACT : Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,  - Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook    Note:  The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s erasure analysis of the 2009 CRCT administration flagged schools in Atlanta Public Schools for testing irregularities. Accordingly, AYP determinations for Atlanta Public Schools and its individual schools will not be released until the Georgia Department of Education can determine which data are impacted by the investigation findings. You may find out more information about Governor’s Office of Student Achievement’s erasure analysis and subsequent state investigation here:   .     The AYP website with school-level spreadsheets can be found at the following site:       July 21, 2011  – The Georgia Department of Education today released the initial Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report, which is the formula used to determine if schools are meeting expectations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The final AYP report will be released in the fall and will include summer retest scores, summer graduates and appeals.   Fewer Georgia schools made AYP this year due to the academic bar being raised in all four categories (Reading/Language Arts CRCT Grades 3-8, Math CRCT Grades 3-8, English/Language Arts Georgia High School Graduation Test, Math Georgia High School Graduation Test). The graduation rate that high schools must meet also increased this year to 85%.   The percentage of all schools making AYP in 2011 is 63.2%, compared to 71% in 2010. The percentage of schools falling into "Needs Improvement" (NI) status this year is 17.5%, compared to 15.4% last year.   "We have many great schools in the state providing a high-quality education to all students," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "But the rate at which the academic bar and the graduation rate requirement increased this year prevented more schools from making AYP. We knew we were up against the proverbial wall because this bar increases each year, and it appears that we have begun to hit it.”   NCLB 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% proficiency for all students by 2014. All students at a school, as well as any qualifying subgroup of students, must meet goals in all three categories in order for the school 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.    Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act   Today's AYP release sheds more light on the need for Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) - No Child Left Behind. Though some flexibility has been granted to the state, it has been insufficient to overcome the original accountability benchmarks established by Congress in 2001.   "The goal of 100% proficiency for all of our students by 2014 is well meaning,” said Superintendent Barge, “but because there are so many variables in the lives of children that schools cannot control, the likelihood of achieving this goal is slim."   Superintendent Barge added, "There is so much more to a school's and a child's progress than one test score at a single point in time."    Graduation Rate   The state's initial 2011 graduation rate is 79.5%. That is down slightly from the initial 2010 graduation rate of 79.9%.   "I believe this decrease in the graduation rate highlights the need for more relevance in a 21st century high school," Superintendent Barge said. "As long as students do not see the connection between school and possibilities after high school, some will continue to drop out. The career pathways that all students will have beginning Fall 2012 will help students see the relevance in school.”   Graduation rate must be used as a "second indicator" for all high schools and the bar was raised this year.   In order to make AYP, a high school had to have a graduation rate of 85% or higher, up from 80% last year. If a school did not make that goal, they could use a "second look" which means:  - Having a graduation rate that averaged 85% or higher over the past three years OR  - Having a graduation rate of at least 60% the previous year (2010) and showing a 10% improvement in the rate this year.   This year, all states will be required to calculate a graduation rate based on the "Cohort" formula. Georgia will release the Cohort graduation rate later this fall with the state's Report Card.    School Improvement Efforts   Accountability and support for struggling schools go hand-in-hand. Georgia's support for low achieving and struggling schools is a critical function of the GaDOE's school improvement efforts. The Office of School Improvement and Race to the Top's Office of School Turnaround partner with Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) to support schools that are identified as Needs Improvement 1-4. School Improvement Specialists are assigned to schools to work directly with the leadership teams to review data, model classroom instruction, and monitor the implementation of the school improvement plan. School Improvement also provides Title I grants to those schools to further support the strategies to address the needs of struggling students. In addition, training and professional development are provided for key staff and leadership at each school.   The Race to the Top Office of School Turnaround works with schools that are identified as Needs Improvement 5 or more. Schools identified as NI 5 or more are designated as State-Directed and must enter into a contract for improvement. Additionally, NI 5 or more schools receive a Title I School Improvement Grant to fund training, professional learning, and extended learning time for the school and for struggling students.     SCHOOL and DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS      SCHOOLS THAT CAME OUT OF "NEEDS IMPROVEMENT" STATUS   Carroll County Villa Rica Middle  Clayton County Pointe South Middle School  Coffee County Coffee Middle School  Chatham County Groves High School*  Crisp County Crisp County Middle School  Douglas County Stewart Middle School  Glynn County Burroughs-Molette Elementary School  Gordon County Sonoraville East Middle School  Jasper County Jasper County Middle School  Johnson County Johnson County Middle School  Lanier County Lanier County Elementary School  Lanier County Lanier County Elementary School  Newton County Indian Creek Middle School  Paulding County South Paulding Middle School  Seminole County Seminole County Middle/High School  Stewart County Stewart County High School  Valdosta City Newbern Middle School   * This school received a School Improvement Grant. As a result, it is no longer in Needs Improvement status.    DISTRICTS WHERE ALL SCHOOLS MADE AYP   Banks County  Clay County  Clinch County  Echols County  Fayette County  Lee County  Long County  Lumpkin County  Marion County  Miller County  Mitchell County  Oconee County  Rabun County  Schley County  Stephens County  Stewart County  Towns County  Ware County  Webster County  Bremen City  Chickamauga City  Decatur City  Jefferson City  Scholars Academy  CCAT  Ivy Prep  Fulton Leadership Academy  Museum School Avondale Estates  Coweta Charter Academy  Trion City  State Schools - Georgia Academy for the Blind