Archive for Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tonganoxie School District remains on “needs improvement” list, but makes targeted “adequate yearly progress”

August 12, 2008

— Topeka - Nineteen Kansas school districts, including Tonganoxie and Ottawa, were identified Tuesday as needing improvement, according to student test scores under the No Child Left Behind law.

But Tonganoxie actually made its targeted "adequate yearly progress," which is known as AYP. The district was listed "on improvement" last year, and before it can be removed, it must make AYP two straight years.

School districts and schools are ranked according to student scores on statewide tests in math and reading.

"We made AYP in the district and all three buildings," said Tonganoxie Superintendent Richard Erickson. "That's good news for us. Our faculty and our building principals worked hard to help each and every student to achieve all they could achieve."

Tonganoxie was on the list last year because a group of special needs students did not achieve AYP.

For Ottawa, this is the third year that the district has been listed as "on improvement." All of the Ottawa schools made AYP, but the group of special needs students didn't, according to Judi Miller, assistant director for Title Programs and Services at the Kansas State Department of Education.

"They didn't have the percentage proficient in reading," Miller said. The target was 72 percent proficient in reading, and Ottawa had 61 percent, which was better than the previous year's 58 percent.

"They are improving," Miller said. "They're getting close."

She said the state department will work with the district to try to improve the scores.

The 19 districts needing improvement represented an increase from 16 last year. There were 36 schools identified for improvement, which was one more than last year.

Ninety-four percent of schools statewide, including all Lawrence schools, met or exceeded academic levels that are rising each year, the state reported.

"Kansas teachers, students, administrators, and parents have a right to be proud of their districts and schools that continue to meet or exceed increasingly higher academic achievement targets," said Kansas Education Commissioner Alexa Posny.


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