Home District Information Administration Superintendent Articles No Child Left Behind, Schools In Need of Assistance and The Washington CSD “What Does It All Mean”
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No Child Left Behind, Schools In Need of Assistance and The Washington CSD “What Does It All Mean” PDF Print E-mail


It is my hope that I will be able to explain how the No Child Left Behind Law is implemented and what affect it has had on the Washington Community School District. The exciting news is the progress the district has made on student achievement scores. There also is a big difference in the way that a larger school has to report out results and the way that smaller school districts have to report out results that I think leaves the larger school at a disadvantage.

No Child Left Behind sets trajectory levels in Math and Reading scores for grades 3-8 and 11 to demonstrate student achievement for a school district and a school building. The good news is that the Washington Community School District has met those criteria for grade levels for all students, for the 2010-2011 school year. That means that the average student in the school district is scoring at a proficient level compared to other students in Iowa in Math and Reading. This is the first time in the last three years as we had missed the trajectory in Math in the Stewart Building for both the 2008-2009- and 2009-2010 school years. We also had missed the trajectory in Stewart in 2008-2009 for Reading. In order to be removed from the School In Need of Assistance, a building must meet the trajectory for two years in a row. This means that the Stewart Building is in what is called “delayed” status in hope that they will meet the trajectory for a 2nd consecutive year. The Lincoln Building has been removed from the list based on the last two years of scores in Reading. So for 2010-2011, the district and buildings met the Math and Reading trajectories overall.


Larger districts have other criteria they have to meet that a smaller district (WACO, Highland, Mid-Prairie) would not have to report based strictly on numbers. The state requires districts who have 30 or more students in sub-groups (Low SES Social Economic Status, IEP Special Needs, African American, Hispanic and White) to report out scores specific to sub-groups. For the most part, 1A and 2A districts do not meet these minimum numbers in most categories. For the 2010-2011, the Washington Community School District fell short in two sub-groups, Lincoln Students with IEP in Math and Junior High Hispanic students in Reading. This puts those two groups in the category of School in Need of Assistance. It is important for people to understand that when they hear that our district has two schools that are in need of assistance, they understand it is only due to the two sub-groups in those buildings and not the entire building. In order to be removed from the list, a district must meet the standards for two consecutive years in all sub-groups. If a district misses on even one sub-group, even if it is a different sub-group, the two year clock starts over. For example, the Lincoln building missed on SES for Math in 2008-2009 but met trajectories in all sub-groups for 2009-2010. Since they missed on IEPs in 2010-2011, the building remains on the list, even though this was a different sub-group than we had missed on before. Doesn’t quite seem fair to me.


The good news is that this district has made significant progress. During the 2007-2008 school year, the district was sited in 10 different areas for not meeting goals. This included Stewart and Lincoln for SES in Math, All four buildings low SES in Reading, Lincoln and the Junior High in IEP and Hispanic. In 2008-2009 the district missed in 6 areas, Stewart in Math and Reading, Lincoln for low SES in Math, Stewart and Local for low SES in Reading and Lincoln for IEP in Reading. For 2009-2010, the district was deficient for seven areas. Stewart for Math, Stewart for SES Math, Junior High for IEP Math, Stewart for White Math and Reading, and Junior High for low SES in Reading and IEP.


While this is all somewhat confusing, the good news is that this district made significant progress in meeting student achievement goals. The All student category is on target and we have improved in most all areas. While we will still have a couple of School in Need of Assistance labels for the Lincoln Building and the Junior High Building, we are only there based on two sub-groups that affect a small portion of our population that we will continue to address. These are two sub-groups that would not be required to be reported by the majority of our neighboring school districts, which I believe does not put all districts on a level playing field in terms of putting labels on districts. It is our task to meet the trajectories in all categories, but we are proud of the progress that has been made.


Last Updated on Monday, August 01 2011 10:55

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