North exceeds in AYP test scores

Katie Murnan

Adequate Yearly Progress, also known as AYP, is part of the No Child Left Behind  (NCLB) federal law. SM North exceeded the annual 2011 AYP targets in reading and math. Principal Richard Kramer believes that meeting AYP is very important.

“It’s very important that we make AYP,” Kramer said. “It shows that we are a high performing school and a high achieving school.”

The annual target for reading this year was 86% and for math it was 82.3%. North scored a 92.9% in reading and a 92.7% in math, passing the standards for both. Each year the benchmarks go up, which means that students must increase their scores the following year.

If a school does not meet AYP standards, it will be marked as a school needing improvement. This can lead to future problems for the school and students such as changes in staff and curriculum.

“We’ve had to increase our achievement every year in each sub group,” Kramer said.

As for next year, the current targets for Kansas are 90.7% in reading and 88.2% in math. These expectations are pending, as President Barack Obama is working with Congress to revamp some of those laws. Currently, by 2014, NCLB states that 100% of students would meet the standards.

Those laws are now being reconstructed and different growth models are being looked at under the authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). In addition to that, states (including Kansas) are now applying for waivers, which may change the benchmarks.

“I don’t think we’re going to be held to that benchmark any longer,” Kramer said. “We still don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.”

Making AYP means that by the standards set, progress has been made in each school by each sub-group that has 30 or more students.

“It means that you are in a building that is achieving,” Kramer said. “We have a great teaching staff and great kids.”

Teachers at North are reviewing and repeatedly go over their plans and data throughout the year in order to continue to reach the benchmarks that are set each year. Getting down to individual student needs instead of taking a group approach is a main focus this year.

Associate Principal Brock Wenciker is hoping to see a positive outcome this year.
“My goal for this year,” Wenciker said, “is to continue growth, continue to see high performance, to achieve.”