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USD 398 meets AYP

Staff writer

Every school district in Marion County met Adequate Yearly Progress standards for the 2009-10 school year.

USD 398 was the only district not to achieve standard the previous year and was put on improvement by the state.

The Peabody-Burns district had 81 percent of students exceed or meet standard in math and 88 percent of students in reading. The target for the district was 79.35 in math and 82.5 in reading.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a standard of progress as established by No Child Left Behind legislation. The goal of AYP is to have every district with 100 percent of its students at standard or above on reading and math state assessment tests by 2014.

The district did not meet AYP requirements because the district’s special education students did not meet the standard as a sub group, Superintendent Rex Watson said.

Each subgroup, such as special education students, with more than 30 students had to meet the standard.

The situation allowed Peabody-Burns Elementary School and Peabody-Burns High School to meet the standard but not the district as the whole; only 79 percent of special education students met standard.

Other than USD 398, USD 410 had the most marked improvement from 2009 to 2010.

The district went from 85.8 percent of its students meeting standard in reading to 90.4 this year. Last year, 83.5 students met the standard in math opposed to 90.8 students this year.

While USD 410 made AYP as a district last year, the special education sub group also brought down scores in Hillsboro schools.

Noble said the Special Education subgroup actually did not make AYP this year but met the safe harbor standard so it did not bring down the entire district.

“It shows how close it was to not making it,” he said.

To rectify the situation in Peabody, Watson said USD 398 changed its special education philosophy. Students were not strictly segregated to special education classes and were placed part-time into general education classrooms to learn the core material for state assessment tests.

“I believe all children deserve access to the core curriculum,” Watson said. “But, that may not always be appropriate.”

Peabody-Burns teachers accepted the change, but there was reluctance from parents and students. Watson said students did not believe they could work with the new material; parents were worried their children were out of their element.

“The kids and parents both quickly figured out that the child could do what we were asking them to do,” Watson said.

USD 410 made similar measures to correct its problems with special education. The 2009-10 school year was the first year where all the students in the district took practice tests. The district collaborated with the Marion County Special Education Cooperative to ensure that all of its students had the same access to the right material.

One of the focuses was to give special education students the same instruction for test taking strategies as the general education students.

“It will be a challenge for us as the bar keeps going higher,” Noble said. “It’s the subgroup that is the closest to not making AYP.”

Other districts

Centre USD 397 met AYP with 90.85 percent of students at standard or above in reading and 91.65 percent of students in math. The district raised its percentage by three points in math but lost nearly five points from 95.1 percent in reading last year.

The Marion district had 92.81 percent of students meet standard in math and 92.6 in reading. Both were increases from 90.64 in math and 91.52 in reading from last year.

USD 411 had 94.1 percent of students meet standard in reading and 87.1 in math. Their targets were 76.7 percent in reading and 70.5 in math. The Goessel district lost more than a percentage point in reading from 95.4 and more than three points in math from 90.8.

Last modified Sept. 29, 2010

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