Aug. 6, 2009
AUSTIN – Eighty percent of Texas schools and districts met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards required by the annual federal evaluation system, the Texas Education Agency announced today.
This year, 992 school districts earned the Meets AYP label, up from 824 or 67 percent of the districts in 2008.
The percentage of schools that achieved this designation rose from 75 percent in 2008 to 80 percent today. This year, 6,696 campuses earned the Meets AYP designation, compared to 6,170 last year.
The evaluations for districts and campuses are available at: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/ayp/index_multi.html.
The federal evaluations are based on:
• Participation and passing rates on state math and English language arts/reading tests for grades 3-8 and 10;
• Graduation rates for high schools and districts; and
• Attendance rates for elementary and middle schools.
Significant changes were made in the evaluation system this year. The performance standards rose substantially and a growth model called the Texas Projection Measure was introduced into the AYP calculations.
The AYP performance standards required to achieve Meets AYP for English language arts/reading rose from 60 percent in 2008 to 67 percent this year. The mathematics passing standards rose from 50 percent to 58 percent today. Schools and districts must also meet a participation standard in reading and math, testing at least 95 percent of their students in each subject.
“The passing standards are beginning to rise sharply as school districts work to reach the No Child Left Behind mandate that 100 percent of students pass their math and reading tests by 2014. Districts had to significantly increase passing rates in reading and mathematics this year just to maintain a Meets AYP designation,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.
The testing information for the federal evaluations is based on results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), TAKS (Accommodated), TAKS-Modified (TAKS–M) and TAKS-Alternate (TAKS–Alt) assessments. Three tests – TAKS (Accommodated), TAKS-M and TAKS-Alternate are tests available to students with disabilities who need some type of accommodation that is not available on the standard TAKS. Texas is one of the first states to use a modified test in its AYP calculations.
Along with acceptable test performance, districts and high schools must also meet a 70 percent graduation rate or show improvement over the previous year. Elementary and middle schools must have an attendance rate of 90 percent or higher to meet AYP requirements.
While the passing standards rose this year, districts and schools got credit for improving academic performance through the Texas Projection Measure (TPM). This is an estimate of whether a student is likely to pass the TAKS at a future grade. The measure is based on a student’s performance on TAKS and the TAKS scores from all students on the campus that the student attends.
Texas is one of 15 states that has received approval from the U.S. Department of Education to use a growth model in its AYP system. Texas is using the same growth model in its state accountability system. In 2006 and 2007, the Texas Legislature passed laws that required Texas to measure student progress over time, which resulted in the development of the TPM.
The combined effect of these changes in combination with increases in performance across the state, resulted in Texas seeing more schools and districts achieving AYP and fewer receiving a Missed AYP label.
This year, 18 percent of the districts or 218 Missed AYP, compared to 32 percent or 391 that fell short in 2008.
At the campus level, 5 percent or 391 schools Missed AYP in 2009, compared to 14 percent or 1,109 last year.
Two percent of the districts and 15 percent of the campuses were not rated for a variety of reasons, such as extended closure due to Hurricane Ike or they did not serve students in grades 3-8 and 10.
The most common reasons that a campus received a Missed AYP designation were mathematics performance and graduation rates.
School Improvement Status
Schools or districts that receive a Missed AYP designation and receive Title I funds, which are federal funds targeted to help serve low-income students, face sanctions in this federal evaluation system.
Of the schools that Missed AYP, 285 are Title I campuses receiving associated federal funding and 106 are not receiving Title I funds. Of the districts that received a Missed AYP designation, 216 are Title I districts and two are not.
If a Title I school misses AYP for two or more years for the same indicator (reading, mathematics, attendance or graduation rate), it moves into the School Improvement Program. The school improvement categories range from Stage 1 to Stage 5, with required intervention intensifying at each additional stage.
At Stage 1, school officials must approve a campus improvement plan and give students the option of transferring to another school. By Stage 5, which means the schools has Missed AYP for the same indicator for six or more years, the school must implement a major restructuring.
Details of the possible sanctions are available at: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/nclb/titleia/sip/2009-2010/sipD.html.
Districts may appeal AYP designations through Sept. 4. Final AYP designations will be issued in December.