All area schools meet AYP level, except 1

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The school systems of Marengo County received positive ratings by the Alabama Department of Education, in which all schools were given a rating which categorizes them as a school that is not in need of improvement. However, Marengo County High was the only school in the county, that did not make the adequate yearly progress status for 2007-2008.

This shortfall came from the graduation rate of the school not meeting the state&8217;s set standard, Luke Hallmark, superintendent of education for Marengo County Schools said.

Hallmark said this was a big accomplishment for Marengo County High School and John Essex High School, which the state placed on &8220;in need of improvement&8221; status two years ago. Hallmark said both schools met Annual Yearly Progress last year.

Email newsletter signup

anymore, it says a lot about the faculty and staff and the support office working together.

Linden City Schools

Linden City Schools also reached their goal today with all Linden schools, including Linden Elementary School, receiving AYP status.

Scott Collier, interim superintendent of Linden City Schools, said the school, like Marengo County High School and John Essex, had been placed on the in need of improvement status two years ago and received AYP status last year and this year, relieving them of the in need of improvement status.

Collier said although the school is excited about their rating, they do not want to be stagnant.

Demopolis City Schools

All of Demopolis City Schools met AYP status. Superintendent Wayne Vickers said he credits the schools&8217; achievements with coalition of effort by the administration, staff, students and parents of schools.

Around the state

Fewer Alabama schools met goals for adequate yearly progress in the 2006-07 school year than the year before, but more are getting closer to the mark, education officials said Monday.

The Alabama State Department of Education released its 2007 AYP report, which measures how schools are doing in meeting annual accountability goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The goals are largely based on student test scores and the national target is for all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

There were 1,358 schools in Alabama this year and 1,117 of them &8212; or 82.2 percent &8212; achieved the AYP goal. Last year the state had 1,364 schools and 1,194 of those &8212; or 87.5 percent &8212; met the goal.

That means 241 schools missed the mark this year compared to 170 in 2006, but education officials are looking at the bright side. State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton points out that 184 schools &8212; more than 76 percent &8212; missed AYP by just one goal.

He and other state educators are calling for federal officials to start considering different consequences for schools based on how close they were to the goal.

Schools that don&8217;t meet AYP are required to take corrective steps and are placed in different categories. Those that don&8217;t make AYP for one year are put on notice but don&8217;t have to take any specific steps.

Schools that fail for two consecutive years are labeled as needing &8220;school improvement&8221; and parents have the option of transferring students to other schools in the district.

This year there were 153 schools labeled as needing improvement compared to 458 in the 2005-06 school year.

Department of Education spokesman Michael Sibley said officials are pleased with the number of schools that are closer to making AYP, an achievement credited to the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative.

He said the drop in the number of schools that made AYP was expected and is a trend being seen nationally because the bar is raised every year with more proficient students required in order to be considered making the goal.

More than 900 schools had the reading initiative this year and accountability roundtables have been set up to work with lagging schools, Sibley said.

Desiree Hunter of the Associated Press contributed to this report.