May 26, 2010

W.C.H.S. fails to meet AYP test scores

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer

Both Alexander and Watford City schools passed Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) tests for the 2007-2008 school year. However, since then, only Alexander has been able to keep its test scores high enough to pass all areas for the 2009-2010 AYP
AYP is a formula agreed upon by the State and the Federal Government that determines if students made significant progress during the school year. There are 42 different categories the state uses to measure AYP and a five-tiered review is applied to each school.  A school must meet one of the five requirements to be acknowledged as meeting AYP for that school year.
The results are based on the testing performed by all North Dakota schools in the fall with the North Dakota State Assessment Test (NDSA) taken by students in grades 3-8 and grade 11.  The testing consists of reading and mathematics achievement levels, as well as secondary indicators of attendance and graduation rates.
For the 2009-2010 school year, Alexander Public School passed AYP in all areas and McKenzie County Public School District No. 1, passed at the elementary level, but failed at the high school and district levels.
“We scored really well in all areas,” says Murray Kline, Alexander Public School superintendent. “Passing AYP means that you are meeting all of the state’s standards and I am very pleased with our results.”
With passing AYP scores, Kline plans to continue moving in the same direction without making many changes to the school’s curriculum and learning procedures, as long as they continue to have passing AYP results.
While Watford City Elementary School did pass AYP in all areas, the high school failed overall for reading with failing scores in the sub-categories of Native American and white nationalities for reading and the Native American sub-category for math. The district failed in the area of Native American reading.
“This year’s scores make us really look at what we can do better as a district,” says Steve Holen, McKenzie County School District No. 1 superintendent. “The AYP shows us the areas that we maybe thought we were doing okay in, but actually need some improvement. As a district we are doing okay. But there is always room for improvement and we plan to use these results as a tool for improvement.”
This is the first year for Watford City High School to receive failing AYP scores, so there will not be any state intervention. However, this is the second year in a row for the district to fail, so it will begin the state’s school improvement program this summer.
“The state will begin drafting a plan for improvement this summer to determine what needs to be done in order for us to pass AYP next year,” adds Holen. “We already have our own improvement plan, but the state’s plan will help us to really look at the areas that didn’t pass AYP this year.”