Fort Wayne Community Schools Show Improvement in Public Law 221 Categories - June 06, 2007

Record Number: 3240
Displayed from: Jun 06, 2007 , until: Jun 20, 2007

Indiana Public Law 221 (PL 221) results released today for the 2005-2006 school year show steady progress among Fort Wayne Community Schools. Forty-two schools or 85% are in the highest four categories an increase of three schools over the last period. "Indiana has some of the highest academic standards of any state, and we are encouraged to see continual improvement in our category placements," said Dr. Wendy Robinson, FWCS superintendent. "The data affirms we are moving in the right direction." She adds, "We take the job of improving student achievement very seriously. It's our primary mission and embraced by every staff member." Eight schools are in the top two categories a number that would have increased to 13 if measured by original PL 221 criteria only. "We had five schools that exceeded Indiana's accountability criteria, but just missed the Advanced Yearly Progress requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind Act," explains John Kline, director of School Improvement for FWCS. If a school misses AYP standards for two consecutive years, it can't be placed higher than the third tier "academic progress." "Like all data that contains averages, we have to dig deeper to get the complete story," said Kline. For example, if just one more student passed either the math or English portion of the ISTEP, Shambaugh Elementary would have moved up one category. Three more students passing both portions of the test at Brentwood Elementary, would have pushed their school up two categories, from Academic Progress to Exemplary. "We're seeing some good individual school progress within these numbers," Kline said. PL 221 categories are based on averages for both performance and improvement in ISTEP results. The categories are: Exemplary Progress Commendable Progress Academic Progress Academic Watch Academic Probation "We will continue to vigorously implement our school improvement plans, that are showing success," Kline said. "The plans, based on data, focus on literacy and math best practices and include participation by the whole educational community the principal, teachers, staff and parents."

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.