Local News

Wake schools to assess No Child Left Behind performance

Posted July 22, 2011

— Wake County Public School System Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday that he plans to put together a team of principals to assess the district's performance when it comes to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Preliminary test scores, known as "Adequate Yearly Progress," released Thursday found that 22 of the school system's 163 schools, or about 13.5 percent, met federal standards for reading and math test scores.

AYP indicates the percentage of students who performed at or above grade level within a school. Each year, No Child Left Behind defines the percentage needed to meet AYP, with 100 percent proficiency as the standard in 2014.

The group of principals – from schools that performed well and did not perform well – will look at what the district did right and wrong in trying to meet the requirements as well as look at whether there are any systemic impediments that are preventing schools from meeting AYP.

"Whenever I see news like this … I look at the data behind the numbers and whether or not we have got issues that we need to confront and tackle and how we capture success where it is and broaden that throughout the system," Tata told reporters in a weekly meeting.

Tata said that he isn't surprised by the AYP results, saying the government's performance standards increased considerably from the previous year.

Reading targets, in elementary and middle schools, for example, went up from 43.2 percent of students proficient in the 2009-10 school year to 71.6 percent of students proficient in 2010-11.

In high schools, reading targets jumped from 38.5 percent to 69.3 percent.

"That's a pretty considerable leap in proficiency standard," Tata said Friday.

Wake superintendent gives weekly update Tata's weekly meeting with reporters

Thirty-nine Wake schools missed the AYP standard by one or two targets – groups of students, including minorities, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

Schools must meet all of their individual targets to meet No Child Left Behind standards.

Results can affect Title I funding and provide families with the opportunity to change schools if their assigned school has missed AYP two years in a row.

That affects 20 schools, according to the Wake school system. Tata said that he and his staff are looking at what impact, if any, it would have on student assignment for the upcoming school year.

"There's lots of different aspects that attract a parent to a school, and AYP is one of those aspects," Tata said.

The school system also looks at other measures to gauge school performance, including graduation rates and end-of-grade test scores.

"No Child Left Behind holds us accountable for every student. It is also only one measure of our schools' success," Tata said.

"Some of our schools that did not make AYP are, on average, high-performing schools," he added. "Some of the schools that did make AYP have more work to do to improve proficiency and growth across the board. All of our schools need to accelerate their efforts to close achievement gaps."

Eighteen elementary schools, one middle school and one high school met AYP requirements. Twenty-eight elementary schools missed AYP by one or two targets. So did six middle schools, three high schools and two alternative schools.


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  • barbstillkickin Jul 25, 2011

    Oh yes and another thing.We should be looking at the PARENTS and the TEACHERS who are not teaching these children. Parents are just as much to blame as teachers. You have got to take a hour of your precious time to help your child. You wanted the kid so TEACH the kids. We as parents when my children were young were able to balance our careers and housecleaning and teaching homework and still managed some alone time. We just did what a PARENT IS EXPECTED TO DO. HELP YOUR CHILD LEARN.

  • barbstillkickin Jul 25, 2011

    I am sorry to hear this no child left behind. When did we decide that we should pass stupid kids who know they do not have to learn cause they will still be promoted to next grade. We have so many college athletes that can not even read but they are there because NO STUDENT IS LEFT BEHIND. I sure do miss the good old days when you actually had to learn. These kids do not deserve to be promoted if they do not do the work. You are not helping them just hurting them.

  • nighthunter Jul 25, 2011

    I think ALL of you are missing the point. The Standard is for ALL students to be performing at grade level. The report is a measure of the SCHOOL performance in meeting that goal, NOT a measurement of the students, per se. The reason the performance is broken into different groups is that it was recognized that the OVERALL performance could mask serious deficiencies in dealing with particular groups. NC schools have complained about this standard since it was passed. They NEED to quit complaining an address the issues of why they cannot have 100% of their students performing at grade level. And the best measurement of teachers is- do their students consistently meet the standard. The standard when I was in school, was for the student to pass tests indicating understanding of a minimum of 70% of the material presented to pass. Minimum average was set at 75%.

    We, as a state are NOT preparing our youth to compete in a modern world, if they cannot meet the MINIMAL national standards.

  • Wendellcatlover Jul 25, 2011

    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect and even require that 70% of our students should be able to read with a high level of competency. What in the world ever happened to failing a student if they don't perform up to their current grade level? If students and parents saw that there was actually a "punishment" for not performing as expected, then there may actually be more motivation to do the work to stay on grade level. When I was in school, you flunked if you couldn't keep up. That's the way it should be now. It's scary to think that today's group of illiterate or low performing students will be running this country in 20+ years!

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 22, 2011

    I think what a lot of people don't realize is that our culture and our mix of student since that bill was passed has changed so much, it maybe a bit outdated. With the tech. advances, increase in mix of population, what companies are expecting is not what the current school system is teaching. The current education is so far behind the real needs of our country it not funny.

  • miseem Jul 22, 2011

    By the way, I've always wondered about the democrat's support of the legislation, especially as it was written. I've had the same complaint about it since it was enacted. It's all about eventually making even good schools look like failures in an effort to boost public (i.e. my tax) money for private schools.

  • miseem Jul 22, 2011

    The whole No Child Left Behind legislation was a republican scam from the start. When passed, the repubs were intent on general use of vouchers for parents to send kids to private schools. Very wealthy did not need that, but the upper middle class could have used the help. Unfortunately, they already lived in neighborhoods with pretty good schools. Answer, set up a system that eventually would make even good public schools fail. Hence, a grading system that required that all goals be met even if it actually meant that only 5 or 6 students out of 600 actually did not perform as projected. Essentially, they took the Garrison Keillor Lake Woebegone anthem of all kids there being above average and moved it to a national basis. The proposed goal of this legislation is that every child will eventually perform at grade level. Does anyone think that is really possible? If it did happen, would the grade level expectation rise? In any grading situation, someone is going to have to fail.

  • gottabkidnme Jul 22, 2011

    Some people are just not bright enough to go through school, time to cut losses and not waste the money.
    This myth that we must waste every last resource on children because they are our future needs to stop.
    One way to fix this is to get people who should not have children to stop reproducing.

    Wow.... and this was spoken from a proudsingleblackmother.... Every child deserves a chance and I would bet that you wouldn't want the strings cut to you own children. This comment is a slap in the face to those parents who have disabled children. Maybe you think they should all be quarintined from the rest of society because their not "bright". Some children may not be the smartest across the board but they excell in something. What happens to the future of your children's children and their children and what would the world come to if we didn't invest in them? We are where we are now because folks have "cut their losses". Our children are our legacy. Stop being selfish.

  • gottabkidnme Jul 22, 2011

    Frankly, I like No child left behind. There should be standards for school systems and they should be enforced. However, it does no good when the teachers are underpaid and have lost the support of parents and system officials. These low AYP scores could also be the result of some households not enforcing academics in the home for various reasons. There is a socio-economic decline in this area and its spreading like the plague!

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 22, 2011

    "It makes teachers and schools responsible for the job they do educating our children."- dontlike

    Yes it great for the no personal responsibility generation that doesn't want to be accountable for anything. Pass the buck.