D-303 committee gets look at AYP results

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles School District 303 board members Monday got a preview of the district’s adequate yearly progress reports, and many said they weren’t surprised to see that so few schools passed.

The results were presented before the Teaching and Learning Committee.

Under the national No Child Left Behind Act, every child is expected to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

For 2012-13, the benchmark was set at 92.5 percent.

Only two schools – Ferson Creek and Fox Ridge – met AYP, according to preliminary 2013 results. Anderson and North High School met AYP in reading, but not math, while Munhall and Haines Middle School met AYP in math, but not reading.

All schools that met AYP in some fashion did so through a provision called Safe Harbor, which means a school reduced the number of nonproficient students by 10 percent within a year.

“What you’re seeing today is not unpredicted,” said Superintendent Don Schlomann. “It was certainly predicted that this would happen and we’re not alone. I guess that’s the only comfort to some extent.”

The benchmark to meet AYP in 2013-14 is set at 100 percent.

“It’s hard for people to understand what this means, and it’s hard for me to predict what’s going to happen,” Schlomann said. “I wish I knew what was going to happen at the end of this year.”

In other business, the committee addressed math scores at Richmond and Davis elementary schools, which are behind the district average.

Becky McCabe, an assistant superintendent at St. Charles School District 303, explained that a few factors may have resulted in lower math scores, such as teachers relying on older resources, a change in the test scoring threshold and a new curriculum.

She said because the test scoring threshold changed, 124 students at Richmond who were “on the bubble” would have met standards if the threshold hadn’t changed.

She said the next step is to look carefully at interventions and professional learning.

“It’s the first year with new math and with cut scores being higher, we didn’t see the high results we wanted to,” McCabe said. “Is that because of the curriculum or the cut scores? Probably a little of both.”