AYP reflects fall ISTEP results, tougher targets - April 15, 2009

Record Number: 4962
Displayed from: Apr 15, 2009 , until: Apr 30, 2009

Four Fort Wayne Community schools made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) based on data from the 2007-08 school year and results of the fall 2008 ISTEP+ exams. Croninger, Harris, Irwin and Study elementary schools met all the requirements of the federal accountability law. Brentwood Elementary School and Blackhawk Middle School missed making AYP by just one of the 37 measures for which schools are accountable, and seven more schools missed by just two cells. The drop in the number of schools making AYP was not unexpected. Ten schools made AYP last year. This year, however, the passing rates needed to make AYP jumped several percentage points. Schools had to have 72.6 percent of students passing English and 71.5 percent passing math to make AYP. Last year, the targets were 65.7 percent in English and 64.3 percent in math. "These results underscore the need for the reinventions we are undertaking district wide," Superintendent Wendy Robinson said. "We know the targets are going to continue getting more difficult through 2014 when 100 percent of students must pass the state exam to make AYP." FWCS is currently working on reorganizing its reading programs to develop a consistent approach to help students at all grade levels. The district will use the most successful components of programs such as Reading Recovery, K-2 and Reading First in the new K-12 program. The district is also reinventing its high schools to ensure all students have access to rigorous courses that are relevant to life after graduation. The schools will establish environments where students feel supported in their learning and will want to challenge themselves in order to have more successful futures. Each school will also have a specialized Program of Study, which will offer students additional career exploration opportunities. "We are making these changes because we recognize our students' needs are different than they were a generation or two ago," Dr. Robinson said. "We have many students who successfully make it through our schools today, but we need to provide more and better opportunities to reach more students." Title I schools that did not make AYP will continue to be monitored under the Differentiated Accountability Model of School Improvement. Indiana is part of a pilot program under No Child Left Behind that allows states to differentiate between schools that missed AYP by only a few cells and those that are further from meeting AYP targets.

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.