Troy Schools falls short of annual goals

Published 10:43 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

Two categories left Troy City Schools short of meeting annual benchmark education goals.

“It is disturbing that one sale can keep a school from making AYP,” said Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is essentially a school systems’ annual report card, judging proficiency in education based on several academic categories.

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What Troy City Schools fell short in was special education math at Troy Elementary School and reading for free and reduced lunch students at Charles Henderson High School.

While the news wasn’t good for city schools, Pike County Schools met 100 percent of its goals and achieved AYP once again.

“All schools made AYP, and the system made AYP,” said Pike County Schools Superintendent Mark Bazzell. “We’re pleased with the results.”

This is the fourth year in a row all county schools met each of the goals, Bazzell said.

Since 2006, the only goals that haven’t been met were graduation rates at Pike County High School, and the same held true for Goshen High School in 2007.

Felton-Smith said the city schools system has achieved AYP status every year since 2004, when math fell short at the TES and CHHS.

Now that the results have come in, Felton-Smith said the schools will work to improve these scores at the high school and elementary school.

“I am very happy for the middle school that met all of its goals,” Felton-Smith said.

“When I look at Troy Elementary School (and Charles Henderson High School), to meet 20 out of 21 goals, it’s just not good enough. We want to meet and exceed the proficiency index that has been established.”

Though Pike County Schools did achieve its goals, Bazzell said reading at the middle school level is an area in need of improvement.

“That’s for the second year in a row for us, so it’s an area we will continue to focus on,” Bazzell said.

A school’s progress is based on standardized testing, including Alabama Reading and Math Tests at the elementary levels and Alabama High School Graduation Exams at the high school level.

Felton-Smith said the TES special education math category was -28.34 and high school’s reading for free and reduced lunch students category was -9.08. Both have goals of zero.

AYP reports keep schools accountable to meet minimum education goals.

“Making AYP is important to us because it shows we’re providing the kind of academic program we’re supposed to be providing,” Bazzell said.

“Just as students get report cards, school systems get their report cards. It shows whether we’ve done well on our report card or whether we’ve not done well.”

The state had 86 percent of its schools achieving AYP status, a 3 percent improvement from 2008, according to the Associated Press.