Topeka The number of public school districts and schools not making adequate yearly progress in Kansas under No Child Left Behind increased significantly this year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Kansas Department of Education.
Statewide, 82 districts and 255 schools didn’t achieve adequate yearly progress this year — compared with 34 districts and 172 schools in 2009.
Educators said performance targets of No Child Left Behind, which increase every year, must be changed in order to better gauge how individual students are doing.
Adequate yearly progress measures a school’s and district’s ability to meet specified targets for student performance on reading and math tests, as well as attendance and graduation. Performance targets, which increased between 5 percent and 8 percent this year, must be met for the full student population as well as sub-groups based on race, ethnicity, income level, special needs and English proficiency. By 2014, 100 percent of students must be proficient.
Interim Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker said the adequate yearly progress measurement fails to show individual student achievement. A student may have increased his or her knowledge greatly but still not make proficiency, she said.
Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Waugh, D-Kansas City, Kan., said she is proud of many schools and districts that are increasing student achievement even though they still not making adequate yearly progress.
“They have grown unbelievably. They’re not failing but it is interpreted as failing,” Waugh said.
The Lawrence school district and Cordley Elementary, Kennedy Elementary, Pickney Elementary, Schwegler Elementary, Central Junior High, South Junior High, Lawrence High School and the Lawrence Virtual School did not achieve adequate yearly progress.
Supt. Rick Doll said few large school districts made adequate yearly progress. That’s because the larger the district, the more sub-groups exist, which means there are more opportunities not to meet the standard.
Doll agreed with DeBacker that when Congress takes up reauthorization of the federal education law later this year, it needs to change the way schools and districts measure the progress of individual students.