We have several types of assessments given to students at various grade levels; I would like to focus on two tests in particular involving the majority of the students in Garfield School District.
The first test is referred to as (AYP) Adequate Yearly Progress it is also called (NCLB) No Child Left Behind. You may have recently heard of this type of testing in the news. The NCLB test is the basis of the State of Utah (CRT) Criterion Reference Test. The tests are given to all students in 4th-12th grade in the areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. The 3rd grade students are assessed in the areas of Language Arts and Mathematics.
The second is U-PASS which is the State of Utah’s own accounting for this testing. The U-PASS is also based on the CRT scores for Language Arts and Mathematics. It also includes Science and student attendance for additional criteria not required in AYP. The good news is every school in the Garfield County School District passed the U-PASS State accountability. The bad news is not all schools passed AYP; the Federal government standards. It may sound confusing that we passed the State test but not all schools passed the Federal expectations. This is the first year all schools in the District have not passed AYP. The AYP tests focus on all students in the school with the additional accountability for sub groups such as students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, economically disadvantaged, and ethnicity. Currently, there are over 40 categories in which the school must receive a “Yes” in order to pass AYP. If a school receives one “No” in any category, the school will be reported as not making AYP. This is exactly what happened with the two schools that did not make AYP. The two schools are Bryce Valley Elementary and Panguitch Middle School. The reason Bryce Valley Elementary did not make AYP is because the “economically disadvantaged” subgroup did not meet the standards in Language Arts. Panguitch Middle School’s “disabilities” subgroup did not meet the standards in Language Arts.
What does all of this information mean? The first year that a school does not pass AYP it serves as a warning to change what they are currently doing in their instruction. If the schools do not pass AYP next year, they will be placed on a “school improvement plan”. If a school fails three years in a row, the Federal Government can withhold Federal funding from that school and require changes in administration, as well as teachers in that particular school. All testing results are available on the District web page under the District Office tab and AYP Results.
Also, on the District web page under the District Office tab you will find a section called “Superintendent’s Corner”. We are posting all of the previous newspaper articles under this section. I am also creating a blog section where those interested can post a question and I can respond with an answer.
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
–Superintendent Ben Dalton