Accelify Blog

Schools Fall Short of Education Standards (WI)

June 9, 2010

Three Fox Cities public middle schools failed to hit education marks measured annually by the Department of Public Instruction, the agency reported Tuesday.

The schools are among 145 schools and four districts that failed to meet adequate yearly progress targets required by the federal No Child Left Behind law, though they are set and measured by states.

Students with disabilities at Appleton’s Wilson and Roosevelt middle schools and Menasha’s Maplewood Middle School missed the reading objective of 74 percent proficiency on state standardized tests administered last fall, landing the schools on the list.

About 93 percent of schools and 99 percent of districts met the adequate yearly progress targets in math and reading, based on the DPI’s annual review.

Students also must reach a 58 percent proficiency target in math, h ave 95 percent of their enrolled students participate in the state testing and record a high school graduation rate of at least 85 percent. No local schools failed to meet those objectives.

The federal law’s ultimate goal is that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Appleton Supt. Lee Allinger said he was happy with his district’s overall results.

"At this point, all our schools as a district exceeded the target this year so we are real pleased with that, but as a district we want all our kids to achieve," he said. "Some groups may have more challenges and we need to adjust our instructional practices and programming to bring them up to satisfactorily perform on the assessment."

Appleton has a systematic process in place for school improvement, Allinger said, and Wilson and Roosevelt staffs will take the state progress reports into consideration as they begin their "data digging" and analysis of test results starting today.

"They will look at achievement data and break it out by ethnicity, income, (ELL) English Language Learners as well as disabilities and identify things we can be doing differently to improve the success rate of students in (disability) classification," Allinger said.

He noted that students with special needs have individualized education plans designed to meet their needs through a coordinated effort by special education teachers, regular classroom staff and parents. The individualized plans differ from student to student depending on their needs, he said.

Rick Carlson, Menasha’s interim superintendent, also was pleased with his district’s performance.
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"Obviously, with the mix of kids we have in this district, the challenge is always there to develop and provide unique, effective instructional programs for each one," he said. "We just need to continue to strive to reach that goal. This is an indicator we have some work to do yet."

Neenah High School hit its marks this year after missing targets in reading proficiency for sophomores with disabilities the two previous years, but still was put on a "need of improvement" list of 89 schools and two school districts. If students hit the marks next year, Neenah will be removed from the list.

"We made significant improvement to not be formally identified this year," said Steve Dreger, director of curriculum and instructional technology.

Neenah will not face sanctions: Only schools that receive federal Title I funding to help low-income students are subject to sanctions under No Child Left Behind, which can escalate to the point of restructuring the school. Neenah High does not receive federal Title I funding, nor does Wilson and Roosevelt

Maplewood receives Title I funding for certain students.

Schools have until June 25 to appeal their preliminary progress reports from the state.