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Last updated 7:44PM ET
April 22, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
241 Schools Fall Short of Improvement Goals
(2007-08-07)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Fewer Alabama schools met goals for adequate yearly progress in the 2006-07 school year than the year before, but more are getting closer to the mark, education officials said Monday.

The Alabama State Department of Education released its 2007 Adequate Yearly Progress report, which measures how schools are doing in meeting annual accountability goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The goals are largely based on student test scores and the national target is for all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.

There were 1,358 schools in Alabama this year and 1,117 of them or 82.2 percent achieved the AYP goal. Last year the state had 1,364 schools and 1,194 of those or 87.5 percent met the goal.

That means 241 schools missed the mark this year compared to 170 in 2006, but education officials are looking at the bright side. State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton points out that 184 schools more than 76 percent missed AYP by just one goal.

He and other state educators are calling for federal officials to start considering different consequences for schools based on how close they were to the goal.

"That way, if a school misses AYP in just one area it is not treated the same as a school that missies it across the board," Morton said in a statement Monday.

Schools that don't meet AYP are required to take corrective steps and are placed in different categories. Those that don't make AYP for one year are put on notice but don't have to take any specific steps.

Schools that fail for two consecutive years are labeled as needing "school improvement" and parents have the option of transferring students to other schools in the district.

This year there were 153 schools labeled as needing improvement compared to 458 in the 2005-06 school year.

Department of education spokesman Michael Sibley said officials are pleased with the number of schools that are closer to making AYP, an achievement credited to the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative.

He said the drop in the number of schools that made AYP was expected and is a trend being seen nationally because the bar is raised every year with more proficient students required in order to be considered making the goal.

More than 900 schools had the reading initiative this year and accountability roundtables have been set up to work with lagging schools, Sibley said.

"We've implemented things such as school improvement specialists, peer mentors and dropout prevention counselors," he said. "All of these initiatives go in and they help schools find where they're weak and work with them in getting out of school improvement."
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