No Western Tidewater public school districts make AYP

Published 12:14 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

RICHMOND—None of Western Tidewater’s three public school districts met federal testing goals, yet four schools within the Isle of Wight County School District did meet what’s known as Adequate Yearly Progress for 2010-11.

Schools that met AYP were Windsor High School and Carrsville, Windsor and Carrollton elementary schools even with higher standards in place.

No schools in Southampton County or Franklin made AYP this year, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Education. Only four school districts in the state met AYP.

AYP benchmarks are based on state test scores in math, English and one other factor in elementary and middle schools. Test scores in English and math and graduation rates are taken into account for high schools.

Schools are judged based on the percentage of students who passed these tests in various subcategories, including white students, black students, Hispanic students, disabled students and students deemed to be at an economic disadvantage.

The benchmark for schools was 86 percent proficiency in English and 85 percent for math. This is a five percent increase from benchmarks set a year ago.

Franklin City Public Schools

Franklin High School saw improvement in the percentage of students showing proficiency in English with an 89 percent rate. Students also made AYP benchmarks across all subcategories for at least the third year in a row.

“We have a solid track record there of meeting the AMO (Annual Measurable Objectives),” said Beverly Rabil, associate director of instruction for the school district. “They were above the 86 percent, and that’s a reflection of the hard work of both students and staff.”

The school’s graduation rate improved. The rate, which includes students with standard and advanced diplomas, was 71 percent. This is an increase of 62 percent over last year, but falls short of the 80 percent required.

Math scores also hurt Franklin High School as only 63 percent passed.

Rabil said the school would use a computerized math program to help target and correct problem areas for students. The program would also require teachers to take two days of training. The program will also provide on-site help for students and teachers.

The English and math scores at Joseph P. King Middle School kept it from making AYP. Eighty-two percent of students passed math and 75 percent were proficient in English.

Rabil said the middle school would schedule double blocks of math to help students achieve higher scores. The school would focus on instruction from teachers as well as a software program to target areas of need.

The district is planning to provide on-site training for teachers and reading coaches to improve the scores in English.

J.P. King is in the first year of school improvement, which means the school has to implement programs, such as tutoring, to improve scores.

S.P. Morton Elementary fell short as 75 percent of students showed proficiency in English and 82 percent passed math.

The elementary school is in the second year of school improvement, meaning the school must offer supplementary educational services, like state-approved tutors, to students.

Southampton County Schools

Southampton High School failed to reach AYP standards due to a low graduation rate. Only 65 percent graduated with a standard or advanced studies diploma in four years.

Southampton Middle School failed to make AYP after 76 percent of students passed math and 80 percent showed proficiency in English.

Riverdale Elementary School had 81 percent of students pass English.

Eighty-six percent of Riverdale students passed math, but weak areas within the sub-categories of black students, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities held it back.

Nottoway Elementary School had 87 percent of students pass math; however, the school failed to make AYP due to lower scores in subcategories in math and overall proficiency in English.

At Meherrin Elementary, 85 percent of students showing proficiency on English tests. The school made AYP in the area of math with 94 percent of students passing.

Capron Elementary failed to make AYP with 81 percent of students proficient in English, while 83 percent of students passed math.

School officials were not available for comment.

Isle of Wight County Schools

Windsor High School made AYP this year after failing to meet standards last year, largely due to an improvement in graduation rate. The school saw its graduation rate improve from 74 percent last year to 88 percent this year.

Windsor Middle School failed to meet the federal standards.

Performance in English among students with disabilities and students at an economic disadvantage and math scores among the subcategories of black students, students with disabilities and students with an economic disadvantage kept Windsor Middle from meeting the standards.

“On the surface we look great,” said Superintendent Katrise Perera. “But as you peel back the onion you see things we can improve on.”

The state announced today that 547, or 47 percent, of the state’s 1,175 elementary schools, achieved the benchmarks.

Twenty-nine, or 9 percent, of the state’s middle schools reached the criteria, according to the state and 109, or 35 percent, of the state’s 308 high schools made AYP.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said she will recommend that the state Board of Education ask U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act’s “increasing unrealistic requirements.” On Monday, Duncan announced he will provide a process for states to seek relief from key provisions of the law, with the specifics to be announced next month.