• 66°

PE Schools Talk AMO

PRINCE EDWARD – It's a new day and new numbers for public schools.

The State's Department of Education, following a formula approved by the State Department of Education, has set new annual benchmarks-which means a change in the annual objectives in reading and math and replacing Adequate Yearly Progress targets schools were required to meet.

Prince Edward's Director of Accountability and Research Dr. Roy Echeverria presented a detailed report on the 2011-12 Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) subgroup data. Progress in the AMO is factored in reading and math for all students, three proficiency gap groups and individual subgroups. Schools also look to federal graduation index.

The high school, which was identified as a transformation school three years ago, is automatically categorized as a “priority school.” The only group weighed for priority schools designation is reading, math and the graduation rate for the “all students” subgroup.

“Focus schools” are identified by one or more proficiency gap groups not meeting performance expectations in reading and math; ten percent of Title I schools with the most significant proficiency gaps in reading and math were selected for focus school status. The three gap groups include (one) students with disabilities, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students; (two) black students, not of Hispanic origin, including those with disabilities, and English disadvantaged students; and (three) Hispanic students of one or more races including those with disabilities, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students.

Schools identified as a “focus school” will retain the designation for two years and must start the planning process to implement intervention strategies in September-with intervention beginning no later than January and continuing to the end of 2013-14. Schools will remain a focus school until they can meet the required targets.

Schools meeting annual measurable objects but missing an AYP subgroup will be asked to develop an improvement plan to address the specific need.

The elementary school, in the detailed report presented to the school board, has been deemed a focus school.

Elementary Scores

Schools had the option of achieving required AMO standards for the single year or over a three-year span (as long as one of the criteria meets the standard).

The elementary school did not meet the English target for all students (reaching a 72.34 percent performance rate over three years and 73.82 percent against the 85 percent AMO). It also fell short for students considered in the first gap group (achieving a 66.82 percent rate for three years or 66.25 percent in the current year to the 76 percent requirement) or second gap groups (reaching a 65.86 percent performance rate over three years and 67.97 percent against the 76 percent AMO) or in the area of students with disabilities (reaching 58.28 percent over the three year span and 30 percent for the single year against an AMO of 59 percent).

They also did not meet the target for white students, reaching a 79.91 percent performance rate over three years and 79.86 percent against the 90 percent AMO.

“…We did much better in math even though-remember this is all relative to how other schools did…not only for reading, but also for math,” Dr. Echeverria highlighted. “Math is a new standard. Remember that we had a new test. However, we did much better than other schools in the state.”

Indeed, the school met the three-year target average with a 71.74 percent rate in math for all students compared to the 61 percent AMO (though 54.43 percent in the current year results fell short); the school also met AMO for gap group one spanning the three years (65.40 percent compared to the 47 percent requirement, though they fell short in the current year at 44.62 percent), met gap group two requirements for the three-year average at 63.25 percent and narrowly missed for the current year at 42.61 percent; and met the three-year average for students with disabilities with a rate of 61.08 percent, significantly above the 33 percent requirement.

“So basically, we met all the annual measurable objectives in the elementary school for math,” Dr. Echeverria explained.

The state, he offered, is going to work with central office to come up with a plan-strategies-to address the needs of the school. Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith added that it will be similarities with the steps that were taken with year two school improvement status last year.

Middle School

Dr. Echeverria, in presenting the middle school figures, noted that they have “a lot to celebrate,” noting that “the only quote unquote subgroup that missed the reading performance was the all students subgroups.” The figure, which averaged 83.06 percent in the English performance for the past three years and 82.10 percent in the current year, was just short of the 85 percent AMO.

“Really close,” Dr. Echeverria said after noting they missed it by 2.9 percent in the current year and 1.84 in the three-year average. “But if you notice all the others we met the target.”

For students in gap group one in English, the three-year average of 78.88 percent and current year performance of 77.56 percent exceeded the required 76 percent. Similarly, students in gap group two exceeded the 76 percent requirement with a 77.54 percent three-year average and a 76.55 percent performance in the current year. Students with disabilities also exceeded the 59 percent requirement with a three-year average of 74.61 percent and 61.9 percent in the current year.

White students exceeded the 90 percent AMO requirement, scoring a 90.71 percent three-year average and a 90.23 percent performance in the current year.

“In math, every single subgroup…made or met the annual measurable objective,” Dr. Echeverria said.

All students exceeded the 61 percent AMO in the three-year average in math with 76.72 percent and the current year of 65.26 percent. Gap group one students exceeded the 47 AMO with a three-year average of 71.09 percent and the current year performance of 57.08 percent. Gap group two students exceeded the 45 percent AMO, scoring 70.84 percent in the three-year average and 59.06 percent in the current year. Students with disabilities scored a three-year average of 60.34 percent, above the required 33 percent AMO, though they were short on the current year at 26.58 percent.

White students also exceeded the three-year average and current year AMO of 68 percent, scoring an average of 84.52 percent for the three years and 73.51 for the current year.

Because the school missed the reading target for all students, Dr. Echeverria cited, they have to develop an improvement plan.

High School

While the turnaround designation will keep the high school a “priority school,” there was some good news in the math and English scores.

All students met the 85 percent AMO for the three-year average (86.44 percent) and the current year (87.23 percent) for English. Gap group one students exceeded the 76 percent AMO with a three-year average of 79.15 percent and a current year performance of 79.61 percent. Gap group two students exceeded the 76 percent requirement, scoring 81.6 percent over the three-year span and 82.6 percent in the current year. Students with disabilities fell just short of the 59 percent requirement-scoring 53.84 percent for the three-year average, but the 21 total students made the sample size too small for the current year. The 94.73 percent three-year average and the 93.93 percent rate of white students exceeded the 90 percent AMO in reading.

The high school, Dr. Echeverria cited, met all the targets in math as well.

The three-year average of all students in math checked in at a 76.94 percent rage, with the current year at 67.69 percent-both exceeding the 61 percent AMO. Gap group one exceeded the 47 percent AMO with a 73.17 percent three-year average and 64.25 percent for the current year, both exceeding the 47 percent AMO. Gap group two with a 72.2 percent average and 67.39 percent current year average also exceeded the 45 percent requirement. The 56.7 percent of rate of students with disabilities exceeded the 33 percent requirement. The percentage of white students in the three-year average at 84.15 percent exceeded the 68 percent requirement (though the 65.51 percent in the current year fell just short).

The high school, Dr. Echeverria noted, missed the four-year graduation rate requirement (80 percent) for three of the four groups-gap group one (55.28), economically disadvantaged (55.26 percent) and white (77.14 percent). The graduation rate does not factor this past year's results, essentially lagging a year. (There are several options that can be used to achieve the required percentage-achieving the 80 percent rate four, five or six years-or by reducing the number of students not graduating in a single year by 10 percent or more.)

“…Obviously, the high school is already in transformation and is going to be automatically designated as a priority. So they have one more year to work with and, hopefully, they'll be able to come up from that designation next year,” Dr. Echeverria said