Half of state’s schools fail progress report-WEB ONLY

Only half of Indiana’s public schools met federal rules for “adequate yearly progress” this year, down from 54 percent a year ago – when the standards for success were lower, the Indiana Department of Education announced today.

About 83 percent of school corporations met the standard, which comes from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. A year ago, 84 percent of school corporations met a lower federal goal, according to the Associated Press.

To achieve “adequate yearly progress” this year, schools had to have 72 percent or more of their students pass the math and language portions of ISTEP, the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress.
The results announced today are based on results from tests taken last fall.

For the past three years, schools had to have only 65 percent or more of their students pass both sections.
The tough part of the “adequate yearly progress” standard is that schools must achieve the required test score results for each minority group, for low-income students and for special-needs students – so long as the school has at least 30 students that fall into each group.

“It’s unacceptable that only half our schools are achieving the minimum federal standard,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett in a prepared statement. “We simply must do better. The bar has been raised, but if Indiana students are going to compete with their peers from across the U.S. and around the world, we must continue to raise expectations across the board.”

The threshold for compliance with “adequate yearly progress” goes up every three years and will reach 100 percent by 2014.

After not achieving “adequate yearly progress” for two years, any school that receives extra federal funding for low-income students can face interventions by state education officials.

Bennett lauded three schools with high numbers of low-income students that achieved “adequate yearly progress” – Hosford Park Elementary in Gary, Lakeside Elementary in Indianapolis’ Warren Township and Christel House Academy, a charter school in Indianapolis.

“These are examples of three schools – two traditional public schools and a public charter school – that are facing all the challenges we know so well and beating the odds,” Bennett said.

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