By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Larned USD 495 achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals established by the No Child Left behind Act of 2001.
AYP is the process for making judgment as to whether or not all public elementary and secondary schools, districts, and states are reaching the annual targets to ensure that all students achieve the state’s definition of proficiency by 2013-2014.
USD 495 hit the target of 82 percent proficiency for math and reading testing for third and eighth grade; science testing for fourth and seventh grade; and high school for reading and math. Testing is done from February to April in district buildings.
Jennifer Anderson, USD 495 curriculum director, said various weighting factors allow a school to reach goals under the 82 percent target as long as there is improvement.
“We made AYP for every building,” she said. “We want to keep heading towards our targets.”
The overall district reading proficiency was 87.5 percent for reading and 78.7 percent for math, which was a successful score because of improvement. USD 495 did miss one sub-group target in math for free and reduced students, but was proficient in students with disabilities because of improving scores.
Anderson said the challenge in the next year will be adjusting to a changed test, where students will learn slightly different standards. Kansas standards will be “retired,” in 2012 and Common Core State Standards will eventually be adopted in Kansas.
The mission statement of the Common Core State Standards, “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”
“Adopting Common Core Standards will provide a bigger pool of resources that teachers can rely on,” Anderson said. “If will give them teachers more options and more people to ask how a particular place teaches a certain state standard. They will see adjust and see what works. By adopting the same standard, everyone will be teaching the standards properly.”
The Kansas State Board of Education adopted Common Core State Standards in October, 2010 for English language arts and mathematics that are internationally benchmarked and aligned with college and career readiness expectations.
The Kansas State Department of Education has established a plan to transition from the state’s current standards to the new Kansas Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The web site corestandards.org offers information on Common Core State Standards.