Local News

Most area schools fail to meet Adequate Yearly Progress

Posted July 21, 2011 3:06 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2011 6:39 p.m. EDT

— Numbers released Thursday show most schools in the area did not meet grade-level requirements for reading and math in 2010-11, also known as Adequate Yearly Progress.

In Wake County, 22 of 163 public schools, or about 13.5 percent, met Adequate Yearly Progress, according to the preliminary results.

Durham Public Schools reported 13.2 percent of schools making AYP. Also, 15.4 percent of Orange County schools, 19 percent in Johnston County and 22.6 percent in Cumberland County met the goal. See all AYP results.

AYP requires schools to meet attendance targets and reading, math and language arts proficiency targets for various 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 get credit for making adequate progress overall. The results could impact Title I funding and provide families with the opportunity to change schools if their assigned school has missed AYP more than once.

Wake County public schools Superintendent Tony Tata said he expected the numbers to be lower because the bar was set higher.

“If the federal government is telling me, ‘Here is our expectation,’ then we better take that seriously,” he said.

The federal No Child Left Behind act defines the percentage needed to meet AYP. The goal is to have all students at grade level by 2014. To reach that, the target goal increased significantly this year.

To meet AYP last year, 77 percent of students had to perform at grade level in math, This year required more than 88 percent. Forty-three percent of students had to read at grade level last year to meet AYP. That jumped up to more than 71 percent this year.

“If this were easy, it would already be done, you know, and tough standards are good. High standards are good. Increasing standards are good,” Tata said.

Last week, Wake County highlighted other numbers showing a steady increase in overall student achievement and the graduation rate.

“Those numbers, they all mean something, but that really doesn't take us off of our focus,” said parent Derrick Burr, who is part of Knightdale 100, a group of Knightdale parents working to improve student achievement.

The parents said they are not rattled by the report.

“I am glad that they raised the bar. I think that is very important, and I think parents just need to keep that in mind,” Burr said.

Wake County says 39 schools barely missed the goal for 2010-11 by missing one or two targets.

At the elementary school level, 18 of 103 Wake schools met all reported targets – Alston Ridge, Briarcliff, Carver, Cedar Fork, Davis Drive, Fuquay-Varina, Highcroft, Hilburn Drive, Lake Myra, Lead Mine, Olds, Olive Chapel, Rand Road, Reedy Creek, Wakelon, Wildwood Forest, Yates Mill and Zebulon. Another 28 elementary schools missed only one or two targets.

At the middle school level, Wakefield Middle was the only one of 32 Wake schools to meet all AYP targets. Another six schools missed only one or two targets.

At the high school level, three of 24 Wake schools met all targets – East Wake School of Health Science, East Wake School of Engineering Systems and Wake Early College of Health and Sciences. Another three schools missed only one or two targets.