Cindy Langley, director of secondary education for the Union County School District, anounced Monday that Foster Park Elementary School, Jonesville Elementary School, Jonesville Middle School and Monarch Elementary School had made AYP.
Langley said this was up from the 2008-09 school year when only three schools made AYP. She attributed this improvement to the schools analyzing their performance years and focusing their efforts on particular subjects.
“The improvement in the number of schools meeting AYP is based on the efforts of the school leadership teams to address weaknesses noted on the previous year’s test results,” Langley said. “For example, Foster Park focused their efforts on mathematics in 2009 -2010. This took the form of grade level study groups and working with district-developed math kits and state support documents.”
Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, AYP is a measure of each school’s progress toward meeting the national goal of having every student in America demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) on state tests by the year 2014. NCLB is an “all-or-nothing” rating system requiring schools and districts to analyze their performance data by student categories such as all students, ethnicity, subsidized meals, and students with disabilities. The more demographic categories a school has, the more goals it must meet.
Foster Park, Jonesville Elementary and Monarch Elementary each met 17 of 17 objectives; Jonesville Middle School met 19 of 19 objectives.
Buffalo Elementary School and Sims Middle School met 19 of 21 objectives each for a compliance rating of 90.5 percent. Union County High School met 11 of 21 objectives for a compliance rating of 52.4 percent. The district met 19 of 21 objectives for a compliance rating of 90.5 percent, an improvement over the previous year when the district met 18 of 21 objectives for a compliance rating of 85.7 percent.
Langley said the AYP status of Lockhart Elementary/ Middle School is still pending upon a review of attendance. She said the district requested the review after the state experience database problems related to attendance.
“The district requested the review because Lockhart met all of the performance objectives,” she said. “An error in attendance occurred during the transition from one data base system to another. On several days the state records showed more students absent at Lockhart than were enrolled. So we know there was a problem.”
In South Carolina AYP performance at the elementary and middle school is based on the percentage of students in grades 3–8 meeting proficiency on PASS (Palmetto Assessment of State Standards) in English language arts and mathematics. This year at least 58.8 percent of the students in each category had to score proficient in English Language Arts and 57.8 percent in mathematics for a school to meet AYP. Those targets will move to nearly 80 percent next year.
AYP performance at the high school is based on the percentage of students scoring proficient in English language arts and mathematics on first attempt HSAP, the high school exit exam taken by sophomores. Targets for both high schools and districts rose last year. At least 71.3 percent of high school students in each category had to score proficient in English language arts with 70 percent in mathematics for a high school to meet AYP. Statewide only 13 of 184 high schools met all of their AYP objectives.
For a district to meet AYP, 67.6 percent of the students in each category had to score proficient in English language arts and 65.5 percent had to score proficient in mathematics.
In Union County Schools the percentage of students scoring proficient in English language arts rose from 75 percent to 75.5 percent while the percentage scoring proficient in mathematics declined slightly from 75.2 percent to 74.8 percent.
The greatest challenge in student performance at all grade levels remains with the special needs population. Approximately 45 percent of the students with special needs met the standards for proficiency in English language arts and in mathematics compared with 75 percent of all students in each area.