August 28, 2012
State results under Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act have led to a political hot potato between state and federal authorities, with the state missing the benchmark and only 28% of Texas school districts meeting the standard, according to a Texas Education Agency report reviewed by the Granbury ISD school board on August 27, 2012.
Although 33 states have received a waiver of NCLB mandates from the U.S. Department of Education, Texas remains one of only a handful of states that still come under the federal law first enacted in 2001. According to U.S. education secretary Arne Duncan, the state is still eligible to seek a waiver through September 6. If granted, Texas schools would not be evaluated under the AYP system.
According to TEA, schools and districts must have 87% or more of their students in grades 3-8 and 10 pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading or English/language arts test and 83% must pass the TAKS mathematics test to meet AYP. 95% of students must participate in the state testing program, and school also must achieve a 90% attendance rate or a 75% graduation rate, depending on the grade levels they serve. The standards must reach 100% passing on both reading and mathematics assessments by 2014 which requires a substantial increase in ratings standards each year in order to meet this requirement.
“Members of Congress and the Department of Education readily admit that the current NCLB requirements and meeting AYP ask too much of students too quickly. Unfortunately, folks in Washington have neglected to make any changes and are moving forward with a flawed system that is setting up students, schools, and states to fail,” commented Johnny Veselka, executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators. “Parents, business leaders, and educators across Texas and the country are demanding a more meaningful accountability system that looks at multiple measures of performance, not just high-stakes tests.”
Granbury campuses meeting the AYP standards were: Acton Elementary School, Baccus Elementary School, Crossland Ninth Grade Center, Mambrino School, Oak Woods School, Roberson Elementary School, and STARS Accelerated High School.
GISD and four campuses – Granbury High School, Acton Middle School, Granbury Middle School, and Brawner Intermediate School – missed AYP, according to the report. The district must spend a higher percentage of federal funding on professional development as a result.
“What we feel is important is that our GHS students performed at a high level this year and would have been Recognized under the previous state accountability standards,” said GISD superintendent Dr. James Largent. “With the transition to the new STAAR tests, our students rose to the occasion, with last year’s freshmen performing well above the state and regional average on the new end of course exams.”
TEA is not issuing state accountability ratings this year due to the transition from TAKS to STAAR testing.