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Plano ISD fails to meet federal AYP standards
More than 30 percent of Plano ISD campuses failed to meet federal progress standards required by the No Child Left Behind Act.
The preliminary adequate yearly progress results released Wednesday by the Texas Education Agency show 22 of the 70 Plano ISD campuses rated missed AYP. In comparison, only nine of the district's campuses missed in 2011. The district as whole also missed AYP for the second consecutive year.
Jim Hirsch, Plano ISD associate superintendent for academic and technology services, said the district has already put plans in place to raise scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test, which weigh heavily on a campus' AYP.
"We were able to look at our preliminary results at the end of July and already our principals have begun adapting their professional development plans to address those areas on their campuses where they didn't meet the standards," Hirsch said. "They are determining what they can work with their staff on before school starts, and then continuing once school begins."
Similar or worse results were seen statewide, where only 44 percent of campuses and 28 percent of districts met AYP. Last year, 50 percent of the districts and 66 percent of campuses statewide met AYP.
To meet the 2012 standards, 83 percent of a school's students must pass the math portion of the STAAR test, up from 75 percent last year. The standards for the reading/English language arts portion of the test also increased, up to 87 percent from 80 percent. The requirements to meet AYP are equivalent to the "recognized" and "exemplary" standards in the state's rating system.
Standards will continue to increase each year, with passage rates of 100 percent required on both tests by the 2013-2014 school year to meet AYP, a goal that will be very difficult to meet for all school districts, Hirsch said.
"The 100 percent standards are only two years away," Hirsch said. "When the bill was first passed, everyone knew what the 2014 school year looked like, but I guess no one really thought that the bill wouldn't change and adjust based on the realities of students prior to that happening."
With the district as a whole missing AYP for the second consecutive year, district officials must submit a district improvement plan to the state as well as send letters to parents notifying them of the AYP results.
Two campuses, Memorial Elementary and Huffman Elementary, will now be subject to Stage 1 requirements since they missed AYP for the second consecutive year and receive Title I School Improvement funds. Students at the two campuses will be allowed to transfer to Plano ISD campuses that met AYP.
While Plano ISD didn't meet AYP, Hirsch said the district has other ways of assessing student performance outside of the STAAR test.
"We have a couple of internal assessment tools that do a good job of measuring student growth over time, rather than just student achievement at a particular point," he said. "We will still pay close attention to our local growth measure. No matter what a starting point of a student it, we want to know if the student has met the expected growth for their work over the course of the school year."
Hirsch said using growth measures rather than simply looking at STAAR results can be more effective, especially in cases where students move into the district and are one or more grade levels behind their peers. In this case, Hirsch said it is unreasonable to expect the student to be completely caught up in one year.
"As we look at our students and their learning trajectories, we do have pointed where that proficiency level is for each student," he said. "There is no question that that goal is there, but sometimes it is more than a single-year goal."
For complete AYP results, visit ritter.tea.state.tx.us/ayp/2012/index.html.
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