October 11, 2008

Students in 3 Unit 5 Schools Miss Yearly Progress Goals

By Phyllis Coulter

NORMAL Economically disadvantaged students in three of Unit 5 elementary schools didn't reach the state's required adequate yearly progress goals in reading this year, school board members learned Wednesday.

Our (test) scores continue to increase, but the bar is moving up a little more quickly than our scores, said Jim Braksick, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

In the two previous years, all 15 elementary schools in the Normal-based district reached the mark in both reading and math, he said.

This year elementary schools reached AYP in math.

At Brigham, Glenn and Pepper Ridge elementary schools, economically disadvantaged students fell below the minimum target of 62.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding goals on Illinois Standards Achievement Tests. At Brigham, 47.1 percent met or exceeded reading goals, and the numbers were 48.9 percent at Glenn and 57.6 percent at Pepper Ridge.

At Brigham, Hispanic children missed the goal as did students with disabilities at Pepper Ridge.

Under federal guidelines, AYP is defined by test scores for the student body as a whole in a school and the district and for identifiable socioeconomic categories of a certain size within the student population.

AYP is a number. We need to look at that number, and be proactive, not reactive. We need to go beyond that number, Braksick said.

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