Local News

State Releases Preliminary AYP Results for Schools

Posted August 17, 2007

— Wake County is often praised for its academic achievement and considered a model for other school systems to follow.

But, like other school systems, Wake County is finding the federal No Child Left Behind law tough to master.

Preliminary figures released Friday showed that, last year, only 43 percent of Wake County elementary and middle schools met the adequate yearly progress benchmark, or AYP. Just 13 percent of all schools in Durham made the grade.

Some say it's not an adequate way of assessing a school's progress.

“With the schools not meeting AYP, the next question should be, ‘How many targets did you make? Did you make most of those targets, or did you make a few of those targets?’” said State Superintendent June Atkinson.

The law looks at the students' end of grade test scores in reading and math. Those scores are broken into subgroups based on race, ethnicity, special needs and other factors.

A certain percentage of students in each group must pass in order to reach the target. If one group doesn't meet the target, the entire school fails.

“The all-or-nothing of AYP or No Child Left Behind really does need to be changed, because it doesn’t allow us to differentiate between the schools that need to give extra help to a certain group of students and the school that’s failing all students,” Atkinson said.

The consequences come into play when a subgroup fails to pass a particular subject area two years in a row. If that school receives federal money for disadvantaged students, it might be forced to offer tutoring or a transfer to students wishing to leave.

“One good thing about No Child Left Behind is that it shines a spotlight on all students,” Atkinson said. “And our schools must educate all students.”

The figures come from a preliminary report released by the state. Data for Wake County high schools is still being worked out by the Department of Public Instruction.

You can access the state's complete results, listed by county.


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  • mramorak Aug 19, 2007

    There is no educating when you are baby sitting a bunch of kids who dont want to learn.

  • Harrison Bergeron Aug 18, 2007


    I fully understand the extremely low bar that has been set for these end of grade evaluations; however, it used to be that one could "survive" with an eighth grade education via unskilled or trades labor. Since we have imported a new underclass, the only chance for someone to pursue the "American Dream" is to become college bound.

    There is, has been, and always shall be a percentage of the population that aren't cognitively capable. No amount of teacher, parent or nanny-state intervention is going to change things. Throwing money at the problem, or punishing the dim-witted parents of dim-witted children isn't going to work.

    Since you mention AP, the real damage with NCLB is that resources that could be spent for the gifted to reach their full potential is squandered on the lifting the forever entrenched.

    We are in agreement regarding the abysmal failure of government schooling. Bring back neighborhood schools, perhaps privatization is needed.

  • thewayitis Aug 18, 2007

    No Child Left Behind is the worst piece of education legislation passed in recent history. It is based on the premise that all students learn equally, and it holds schools responsible for a child's home life. All children do not learn equally, and as much as some people don't like to admit it, some kids are smarter than others, and always will be. Also, there is no way in heck that a school can make up for a lack of parental direction at home. Not unless we take all kids away from their homes and put them in government run boarding schools! Seems to me like we are heading in that direction, with sunrise to sunset schools and aftercare...

  • Steve Crisp Aug 18, 2007

    To harrison:

    Your whole premise is in error. NCLB is not a measure of our outstanding kids; it is a measure of the minimum knowledge base needed for any given grade level. And that base is set low indeed. It is saying that all students need to have at the least a particular knowledge set, that set needed in order to survive. It is not a measure of our AP students applied to all, nor should it be.

    And even with that minimum criterion, our schools are failing -- massively.

    We need private schools with a full voucher system now. We need to dramatically strengthen our certification programs for teachers; get the losers out of the classroom. We need to sanction parents who don't care about their children, helping them with homework, helping to read, helping them with life. And we need to identify those kids who are disruptive for whatever reason and remove them from mainstreaming, taking down those kids and parents who actually care.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 18, 2007

    Wha's wrong, claudnc? Bothered that NCLB is finally giving an objective method of showing that our schools have failed our kids? Worried it will reveal that for decades, school systems have been lying to us, dumbing down all testing criteria, so they look good on paper while spitting out graduates who can't read that paper? Upset because a conservative president finally called you people on the carpet and made you examples of how not to accomplish things properly?

    If you and others had been doing the job you are being paid to do all these years, we wouldn't even need NCLB.

  • slteach Aug 17, 2007

    ABC results are on ncreportcards.org, but 2005-2006 is the latest year that is posted. Some schools have changed since then.

  • Harrison Bergeron Aug 17, 2007

    The ABC results for NC schools are available for review at http://www.ncreportcards.org.

    It's plainly obvious NCLB is an abject failure; egalitarian Marxism is a delusion. We should all arrive equally at the starting line, but not at the finish line.

  • claudnc Aug 17, 2007

    Oh the whole AYP thing is a joke anyway - that is coming from a school counselor sitting in my office on a friday night making sure junior and senior schedules are ready. NCLB along with bush needs to jump head first into a shallow lake.

  • Not_So_Dumb Aug 17, 2007


    Can you please remind the school board that money doesn't solve all the problems next time they propose a ONE BILLION DOLLAR bond?


  • kittiboo Aug 17, 2007

    Right, Tarheels, because money solves all problems.