County system makes AYP

Published 1:16 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Report cards for the county’s schools were released to the public Thursday, showing that while the Covington County Schools System made AYP as a whole, one of the its high schools missed the mark because of its graduation rates.

The Alabama State Depar-tment of Education released the numbers for the 2011-2012 school year showing which schools did or did not make “adequate yearly progress” or AYP, according to the No Child Left Behind Act. NCLB is the mandate that sets national standards requiring all students to be proficient at their grade level in reading and math by 2014. Every year, a higher percentage of students must pass the required tests in order for a school to make AYP.

Each state designs its own tests and determines passing scores to meet those federal standards. In Alabama, elementary and middle students are tested in the third through eighth grades using the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT).

As a system, Covington County did not make AYP in reading for grades 3-5, and Superintendent Terry Holley said the system will continue to work on improvements in this area.

“We have had to improve, and we will continue to work on it,” he said. “We do response to instruction. It’s a lot when you have so many schools, it’s tough to make it.”

Straughn High School failed to meet the pervious year’s 90 percent mark in graduation rate. To make AYP in any area, such as graduation rate, the school or system must meet or exceed the previous year’s mark. SHS’s rate was 75 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, compared to 90 percent in 2010-2011 and 87 percent in 2009-2010.

“We’re going away from the graduation exam,” Holley said. “And as part of this, NCLB has been frozen. The biggest thing, and it’s always a challenge, is the graduation rate.”

High school students are evaluated using their 11th grade math and reading scores on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

Changes in testing are coming with the start of a new school year, as this year’s sophomores will be the first students not to take the AHSGE in many years.

Instead they will be required to take end-of-course exams. This was a statewide mandate handed down from the state board of education.

The Star-News previously reported that both Andalusia and Opp city schools made AYP. Opp High School did not make AYP in the reading category.