Thursday, August 5, 2010

AYP Report: Wilson Says Socorro Schools Improving

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The Adequate Yearly Progress report released Tuesday by the New Mexico Public Education Department indicated that most schools across the state are doing poorly in the areas of math and reading.
But Superintendent Cheryl Wilson said Socorro’s schools are, in fact, showing improvement.
“We are thrilled with the overall results on the AYP,” Wilson said. “Most of the schools in the district narrowly missed meeting their goals.”
For instance, San Antonio Elementary was listed as ‘not met’ (goals) only because of a drop in attendance this past school year.
“The reason is because they were hit especially hard with H1N1 flu in the fall,” Wilson said. “The figures show a huge improvement in math and reading. They had amazing results.”
She said an attendance waiver has already been accepted, and the validated AYP will reflect that when it is released September 1.
“There is an appeal process,” Wilson said.
Other schools in the district looked better in some areas.
“Midway Elementary has bounced back and forth the last three years,” she said. “This year they did great in reading , but didn't quite make it in math.”
This was the first year Parkview failed to make the AYP, “by such a small number,” Wilson said. “If two more kids in the ‘economically disadvantaged’ category had been proficient in math, and one in reading they would have made it.
“Zimmerly Elementary made huge progress this year. Before they had struggled to make the AYP,” she said.
“Each subgroup made improvements over last year, and that much growth in math. If one more student in Special Ed had passed the reading test at Zimmerly they would have made the AYP.”
Sarracino Middle School showed a small growth, “but not the kind of growth that got close to the AYP.”
Wilson pointed out that only seven middle schools in the entire state are making the AYP.
“In the majority of school districts the elementary schools and the high schools are doing well, but their middle schools are not,” she said. “It could mean the tests for the middle schools are out of sync.
“In a case like ours where we had great growth, it still wasn’t enough. We need to keep working to reach that high bar,” Wilson said. “This year there will be an extra 45 minute period of math.”
Socorro High School has failed to meet its goals in the AYP for a long time, she said. “They are making the AYP in reading, but not in math.”
As with any set of numbers, statistics can be interpreted in different ways but Wilson said the “best indication for parents is how their own children are doing.”

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