It was a clean sweep for Brown County public schools when evaluations for the 2007 adequate yearly progress were announced last week.
Most Texas schools — 86 percent of Texas the districts and 79 percent of the individual campuses — performed well when evaluated against standards in the No Child Left Behind act. But the favorable results came despite a substantial increase in the performance targets by which they are judged in this federal evaluation system, the Texas Education Agency said in a release.
“Each campus in Brownwood Independent School District did extremely well on the state accountability system and now every campus has met the standards for No Child Left Behind,” Dr. Sue Jones, Brownwood superintendent, said. “While this was expected for Brownwood ISD, 21 percent of the campuses in the state did not meet the requirements. We are pleased to have achieved the standard both at the campus and district level. We appreciate the commitment and dedication of teachers and staff members to student success.”
Every school campus in Brown County — including all those in the Brownwood, Bangs, Blanket, Brookesmith, Early, May and Zephyr — meet the AYP standard. Every campus in adjoining counties — Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Mills, McCulloch and San Saba — also meet the standard except one, Comanche Accelerated. Remarks on the statewide report indicated that school did not meet the standard because of performance in mathematics.
This year, to earn a label called “Meets AYP,” the schools and districts had to test at least 95 percent of their students and at least 60 percent of the students had to pass the reading/English Language Arts test and at least 50 percent had to pass the mathematics exam. This represented a 7-percentage point increase in the reading performance target and an 8-percentage point increase in the math target.
Schools and districts can also meet AYP by showing significant performance improvement, the TEA said. State tests in Grades 3-8 and 10 that are used to determine these scores are the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), TAKS-Alternative, State Developed Alternative Assessment II, Locally Developed Alternative Assessment, the Reading Proficiency Test in English and the Linguistically Accommodated Test. High schools and districts are also rated on the 2006 graduation rate, while elementary and middle schools are rated on attendance rates as well as test scores and participation.
Data for all students, as well as African American, Hispanic, white, economically disadvantaged, special education and limited English proficient are analyzed.
“Although we substantially raised the performance standards, the majority of Texas public schools met the standards. Many had math and reading passing rates that were well above the targets,” acting Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said. “However the increasing standards did result in fewer schools and districts making AYP. They must take action right away to improve their educational program,” he said. The preliminary 2007 results show that 86 percent or 1,056 school districts and charter holders met AYP requirements, compared to 88 percent or 1,079 districts in 2006.
This year, 12 percent or 149 of the districts missed AYP, as did 11 percent or 132 last year. Both years, one percent of the districts were not rated. At the school level, 79 percent or 6,374 schools met AYP standards in contrast to 82 percent or 6,516 schools last year. Nine percent or 737 of the schools missed AYP in 2007, compared to 541 or 7 percent in 2006.
Twelve percent of the schools in 2007 were not rated for a variety of reasons that include being a new school, a pre-kindergarten-kindergarten campus or a disciplinary alternative education campus. The most common reason a school missed AYP was math performance only or both reading and math performance.
The requirement that at least 95 percent of the students be tested caused very few schools to miss AYP. The graduation rate indicator was the most common reason that districts missed AYP in 2007.
AYP ratings for schools and districts are available at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ayp/.