AYP is the formula used to determine if schools are meeting expectations under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Statewide, the updated results showed that more than 77 percent of schools made AYP, compared to the 71-plus percent number included in this summer's initial results. But the increased number was still below the previous year's 79 percent rate.
The state's increase in the number of schools that made AYP thanks to the updated results -- which take into account summer retest scores, summer graduates and appeals -- included three schools in the Bartow County School System. But three county schools and two schools in the Cartersville City School System remained among those that failed to meet academic benchmarks.
Woodland High School and Adairsville and Cass middle schools made AYP after being among the six in the Bartow district that did not in initial results. The three schools join South Central Middle and all 12 of the system's elementary schools on the list of those making the mark.
The county's Woodland Middle School, Adairsville and Cass high schools did not meet AYP following the updated results, nor did Cartersville Elementary and Cartersville High. Cartersville Primary and Cartersville Middle remain the two schools in the city district that met all academic standards.
AYP consists of three parts -- test participation, academic achievement and another statistic, called a "second indicator." The academic goals continue to rise every few years toward a goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students by 2014. This year, the academic goal for grades three through eight increased in mathematics and the graduation rate bar went up.
All students and any qualifying subgroup of students must meet achievement goals. Student subgroups include white, Hispanic, black students and other racial subgroups; as well as students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students. Schools that have too few students in a subgroup do not have the subgroup's scores factored into the AYP calculations.
Cass High's results put the school in "Needs Improvement" status, which requires them to offer either public school choice or supplemental education services. Schools that do not meet AYP in the same subject for two or more consecutive years are placed in Needs Improvement status with escalating consequences for each successive year.
Keeping Cass High from making AYP were the pass rates of all students and the economically disadvantaged subgroup on the math section of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests. The school's senior class also did not meet the 80 percent graduation rate benchmark.
Though this is the second consecutive year Cartersville high school did not make AYP, the areas that kept the school from making it were not the same as they were the previous year, so it is not in Needs Improvement status. The school did not have a large enough portion of its black population graduate, keeping it from achieving AYP.
Adairsville High came up short in the English Language Arts portion of the GHSGT, as not enough students in the economically disadvantaged subgroup passed the exam.
While high schools must meet state-set goals on the GHSGT to meet the academic achievement component of AYP, the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests are used to measure achievement in elementary and middle schools.
The pass rates of their students with disabilities subgroups kept Cartersville Elementary and Woodland Middle from making AYP. In the former, it was scores on the math section of the CRCT; the latter, the math and ELA portions of the battery of tests.
Further coverage on amended AYP results, including updated graduation rates, will appear in The Daily Tribune News in the coming days.