How is SLC School District
Handling School Improvement & AYP?
The district will not change the way it handles school improvement. For several years, the district has been focused on strategic planning and school improvement, and the process fits well with the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act.
“It seems as if state and federal lawmakers are just catching up to what we have been doing for years,” said Dr. McKell Withers, Superintendent. “Our efforts to improve all schools are driven by our desire to help each child reach his or her full potential and will continue regardless of state or federal designations.”
- There is reason to celebrate! Two Salt Lake City schools, which were in program improvement last year, have made significant gains and are no longer facing sanctions under No Child Left Behind.
- AYP is only one measure of a school’s progress. There are many other ways to measure success.
- Salt Lake City schools are always looking for ways to improve. AYP will not change the district’s focus, which is to use data evaluation to create strategic, targeted school improvement plans. An independent evaluation of this process shows it is working to close the achievement gap and increase the achievement of all students.
- We hope lawmakers and community activists will not use AYP data as a means to forward their own agendas. We look forward to cooperation between public education and all citizens of the state in promoting the success of children.
What Can You Do?
We urge parents to look beyond the simple Yes or No AYP designations. We hope they will take a harder look and research why schools received their designations. We also urge parents and the community to contact their local schools and take an active role helping students and supporting the schools' improvement efforts, regardless of AYP.
- Be more involved in you child's education
- Volunteer time or resources to help your school improve
- Financial or In-kind donations can be given to the district or any school through the Salt Lake Education Foundation - 801.578.8345.
What is the
"No Child Left Behind" Act?
In January 2002, President George W. Bush signed a law that greatly increases the role of the federal government in public education. The No Child Left Behind Act aims to:
- Raise Student Achievement
- Improve Teacher Quality
- Make Schools Safer
- Keep Parents Informed
How Will This
Affect Your Child?
Students must meet a set of standards for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP.)
- 95% of all students must be tested. This includes specific subgroups: special education students, English language learners, low-income students, and different ethnic groups.
- Schools must show an increase in test scores.
- Schools must also maintain high attendance rates in elementary and middle schools and graduation rates in high schools.
There may be school results that seem confusing. A school may be doing a good job as a whole, but miss the mark for a particular subgroup of students. Schools also may not make AYP because of numbers of students tested or not having acceptable levels on attendance or graduation rates. These and other factors determine if schools are making AYP.
What Happens If A
School Does Not Meet AYP?*
- Designation of needing improvement
- Develop school improvement plan
- Students offered option to transfer to high performing school - Available after two years of school not meeting AYP
- Supplemental service such as tutoring offered to students - Available after three years of school not meeting AYP
- Change in school administration - After four years of school not meeting AYP
* Sanctions only apply to Title I schools. Official sanctions have yet to be decided upon for non-Title I schools.