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AYP Scores Explained

CUMBERLAND – During the Cumberland School Board's meeting on September 12, Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin guided them through the school division's AYP (adequate yearly progress) scores for the last testing year and explained which areas each school needs to improve and outlined the plan of action.

Although the division did not meet AYP and neither did the three schools, according to the scores that were released by the Virginia Department of Education last month, Dr. Griffin was quick to point out that each of the three schools are still fully accredited.

Starting at the Elementary School, the accreditation scores are as follows: English was 76 percent, the math score for grades three through five was 81 percent, and history for grade three was 79 percent; history for grade five was 100 percent, science for grade three was 82 percent and science for grade five was 92 percent.

“Looking at the data you can see that the Elementary School remains fully accredited,” said Dr. Griffin. “They did not make AYP in the areas of English in regards to all students in the subgroups of African Americans, economically disadvantaged and white students and in math they did not make it in the subgroups of African Americans and economically disadvantaged.”

When looking at the Elementary School's scores overall, there has been a two-year decline in scores, she noted to the School Board, in all areas except for fifth grade history.

“What are we doing about this?” she continued.

“We have changed reading curriculum so this should help with our reading scores and we've also, this summer, did some staff reassignments to help with the climate and the culture change,” she said. “They have been doing the same reading and math programs for years and have gotten much better results than they did last year and the year before that so we know that the curriculum worked before so we looked at what the climate and the culture was at the school and did some staff reassignments there.”

At the Middle School, the accreditation scores are as follows: English was 88 percent, which is about the same as last year; math was 85 percent, history was 86 percent, and science was 95 percent.

“Overall at the Middle School they are fully accredited,” said Dr. Griffin. “They did not make AYP in the areas of English for African American students and economically disadvantaged students and in math they did not make the total overall as well as African American economically disadvantaged students…It was the dip in history seven.”

Dr. Griffin explained that the Middle School Principal, Mark Mabey, has looked into the sixth grade math scores and changes have been made in that area, as well.

At the High School, the accreditation scores are as follows: English was 85 percent, math was 74 percent, history was 68 percent, science was 87 percent, and the graduate completer index was 94 percent.

“Looking at the High School, they are fully accredited but they did not make AYP in the areas of English for African American students and math for all students, economically disadvantaged students, African American students, and white students,” noted Dr. Griffin. “Looking at our data overall, attendance and our graduation index has increased. Our graduation index is also over the state average in the subgroup of African American, Hispanic, and ESL (English as a second language) students…”

The decline in the math score, according to the Superintendent, is specifically due to the geometry scores.

“The Algebra I scores were as good as they have ever been,” she said. “Actually 100 percent for High School students and Algebra II scores were consistent. It was the geometry that declined and of course, history was a statewide decline due to the new assessments.”

School Board member Ginger Sanderson asked Dr. Griffin if Cumberland's problem areas are the same as those that are being seen statewide?

“History is state,” answered Dr. Griffin. “The history is pretty much the same as the state but the other dips that I saw are not consistent statewide. The geometry, we have had a staff change in the area of geometry.”

School Board member George Reid Jr. expanded on the AYP results and looked to this year's testing and said, “I'm glad that all of our schools are fully accredited and I wish all of the schools would have made AYP but when you look at the fact that only 38 percent of the schools in Virginia made AYP, it's a very difficult goal to reach and it's a moving target. It's going to be hard to make AYP and I hope we can make it.”