Fewer Texas Schools Meet AYP — Why?
Why are fewer of our schools meeting the federal Adequate Yearly Progress requirements?
That’s a valid question. The announcement was made recently that the percentage of Texas public school campuses meeting the AYP requirements dropped from 86 percent in 2010 to 66 percent this year.
What happened? Is student learning declining? No. Our schools did not get worse, the measuring stick changed. The requirements got tougher.
Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, a greater percentage of students had to pass both reading and mathematics tests in 2011 than in 2010.
Looking forward, in 2012, the standard will be even higher. And by 2014, 100 percent of students will need to pass both of these tests for schools to make AYP.
That’s why Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called the federal school accountability law a “slow-motion train wreck.” That’s why he wants to waive the law’s requirements for states that have adopted their own testing and accountability programs and are making other strides toward better schools.
According to a recent New York Times article, ”Under the current law, every school is given the equivalent of a pass-fail report card each year, an evaluation that administration officials say fails to differentiate among chaotic schools in chronic failure, schools that are helping low-scoring students improve, and high-performing suburban schools that nonetheless appear to be neglecting some low-scoring students.”
For more information about AYP and how it is structured, go to this overview.
August 10, 2011