Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Education of a Person, Part 4B

Okay, this is called Part 4B because I was supposed to talk about AYP in part 4, but I am *CRAZY* busy this week. I was supposed to have a friend come over yesterday (she bailed - but not after I scrubbed every square inch of the house), I had to tutor last night, today is Peppermint Patty's 9th birthday (meaning I make a cake and make a special meal) and tomorrow is Sally's FIRST BIRTHDAY (I am already tearing up just thinking about it. Oh, and that also means another cake and another special meal.) So anyway, I had to split part 4 into to sections. So here we are.

Ready for some more NCLB? I'll try to make it straight to the point today.

AYP stands for Adequate Yearly Progress. NCLB requires states to assess children in grades 3-8 every year in reading and mathematics, and just recently they will also be required to have assessment in science once in grades 3-5, once in grades 6-8, and once in grades 9-10. Individual states may choose to assess students on more material, like history and geography, but that is at the discretion of each state.

Each state has to define AYP levels for themselves, while keeping the expectations high for students so that they continue to challenge themselves and work hard. AYP must represent continuous improvement from year to year.

While each state must set high standards for student achievement, only schools which receive Title I funds will face sanctions from the federal government if those high standards are not met. Like I said in previous posts, "sanctions" means things like losing federal funds and mandatory school choice, which means a family may choose another public school to which to send their children, one that has been meeting AYP.

As far as schools that do not receive Title I funds, the individual states are responsible for monitoring their schools' Adequate Yearly Progress. It is the goal of NCLB for all students to meet or exceed their schools high expectations by school year 2013-2014, at a minimum being at proficiency level or better in both reading and mathematics. Standards are set by each individual state, in line with the principle of local control of schools and in order to comply with the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which specifies that powers not granted to the federal government nor forbidden to state governments are reserved powers of the individual states. You can see what the Department of Education says about AYP here.

I haven't really been able to figure out: What if a non-Title I school does not make AYP, but does attempt to improve itself, but fails? Then what? There don't seem to be any clear answers. I might call the DOE tomorrow, and if you have any questions you can call them too. The number is 1-800-USA-LEARN. (1-800-872-5327).

I think the last topic I'm going to tackle, and it's a sticky one, is the idea of "Highly Qualified Teachers". Who defines that? What are the specifics? How does it help kids? How does it hurt professional teachers?

The story continues...


Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Very interesting, as usual :)

Bridge said...

so much to process and digest. I am kind of glad my kids are rockin students because....