Suffolk schools score 79 in NCLB test

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Suffolk Public Schools earned a 79 percent on the test that measures annual progress on the federally mandated No Child Left Behind Act.

Four of Suffolk’s 19 schools failed to meet the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress objectives last year, according to data released Tuesday by the Virginia Department of Education.

No Child Left Behind requires that all students will be proficient in math and reading by 2014. The

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AYPs are the annual objectives at the school, district, and state levels to make sure schools are on track to meet the 2014 requirement.

King’s Fork High, King’s Fork Middle, Elephant’s Fork Elementary and Mount Zion Elementary are the four Suffolk schools that did not pass

the AYP, according to state data.

Suffolk’s 79 percent success rate was right in line with the state’s 80 percent passing rate. Statewide, 1,460 of its 1,821 schools met all 29 AYP objectives.

Missing one objective can make a school miss AYP, according to the state.

This does not change the 100 percent, citywide Standards of Learning accreditation the school system earned last year, said School Board Chairman Dr. Milton Liverman.

What AYP failure means at this point for Suffolk schools is that school improvement plans must be in place and implemented during the upcoming school year, he said.

Those improvement plans are already in use at every school in Suffolk, Liverman said.

&uot;While we are certainly not pleased, we are by no means displeased either,&uot; he said.

The four schools narrowly missed AYP, which combined with the school improvement plans already being an important element of Suffolk’s schools, are the main reasons for a lack of alarm.

At King’s Fork High, for example, AYP was not met because in three required areas because participation levels were too low to count, not because the test scores themselves fell short, Liverman said.

King’s Fork Middle missed meeting AYP standards by one set of test scores out of the 29.

The only disappointing results on a citywide scale came in the AYP subgroup for disabled students.

Compared to the state percentage of passing, which for English, math and science performance was 56, 61 and 64 percents respectively, in Suffolk those results were 43, 44 and 46 percent respectively.