Seventeen schools in Muscogee County failed to meet federal standards for student performance this year, but some of the county’s high schools could still improve their test scores.
Based on preliminary data from the state department of education, the Muscogee County School System did not make adequate yearly progress, with 39 schools meeting student achievement standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the 2008-2009 school year. Last year, 45 schools made AYP, though the system did not make AYP.
AYP is measured based on math and reading test scores on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test and the Georgia High School Graduation Test, as well as attendance and graduation rates, among other factors.
The system met AYP in test participation, but did not have enough black, disabled or economically-disadvantaged students pass the state standardized tests. The data released Tuesday does not include scores on retest of the CRCT or the graduation test.
CRCT retests were offered in May and local high schools are offering retests of the Georgia High School Graduation Test this week; improved scores could affect some schools’ AYP status.
Hardaway High School did not make AYP because of students’ scores on the math portion of the graduation test. Students must score at least a 500 to pass the test and graduate, but a 516 is required to meet federal standards.
About 74.4 percent of the students scored high enough to meet federal standards; the school needs 74.9 percent to pass to make AYP.
This year, the state department of education is allowing students who passed the test, but did not meet federal requirements to come back and retest during the summer. Students will take the math portion of the graduation test today.
Hardaway principal Matt Bell said administrators have called about 50 students asking them if they can come back in for retests.
“It’s hard because they’ve already passed,” Bell said.
Jordan High principal Ricky Stone said they also called passing students to ask them to retest, but only about two showed up to summer review sessions. The school will retest in math today and in English later this week. Stone said he thinks the school will fare better in English scores after the retests. About 82 percent passed the English portion of the exam; 87.7 percent must pass to meet federal standards.
Jordan High did not make AYP this year and remains on the needs improvement list. Schools that miss AYP two years in a row in the same category are designated as needs improvement schools. Those schools must offer extra tutoring for struggling students and give parents the option to send their children to another, higher-performing school.
Baker Middle, Double Churches Middle, Eddy Middle, Carver High, Kendrick High and Spencer High were also already in Needs Improvement status; this year’s data adds Fox Elementary and Shaw High school to the needs improvement list.
A school must make AYP two years in a row to be taken off the Needs Improvement list. Stone said the high school offers review sessions for students throughout the school day to help them pass the graduation test and the school is monitoring ways to improve.
“We’ve got a lot of good, hardworking dedicated teachers this year. They do bring the kids a long way,” Stone said.
Penny Thornton, principal Fox Elementary, said the school is also doing several things to improve its test scores, such as adding the Cornerstone literacy program, improving parent involvement and increasing teacher effectiveness. The school, which is in its first year of Needs Improvement, will also get support from the district through materials and resources, she said.
Some schools improved their scores this year. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Muscogee Elementary and Marshall Middle did not make AYP last year, but met the federal standards this year. If Marshall Middle meets AYP for the 2009-2010 school year, the school will be taken off the needs improvement list.
The following Muscogee County schools did not make AYP this year, based on preliminary data:Baker MiddleBrewer MiddleCarver HighDouble Churches MiddleEddy MiddleForrest Road MiddleFox ElementaryHannan ElementaryHardaway HighJordan HighKendrick HighLonnie Jackson AcademyRiver Road ElementaryRothschild MiddleShaw HighSouth Columbus ElementarySpencer High