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FORT LUPTON — It’s usually the big school districts that bring home the tallest team trophies. But when it comes to the percentage of students making adequate yearly progress in …
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FORT LUPTON — It’s usually the big school districts that bring home the tallest team trophies. But when it comes to the percentage of students making adequate yearly progress in reading and math, the smallest districts in the state, those with 373 students or less, finished first.
The students in only 78 districts, less than half of Colorado’s 183 school districts, made AYP this year. Not one of the 50 districts with more than 2,000 students made the cut, but 36 of the smallest 50 districts did.
That’s significant, Scott Graham, Re-8’s director of consolidated grants said, because most of Colorado’s public school students – 91.1 percent – are in the 50 largest districts. Only 3.36 percent go to schools that made AYP in 2008.
Before everyone rushes to send their child over the mountains to say, Rangely or Meeker (two of the districts that made AYP), it’s important to look at why the bigger districts are “failing,” Graham said.
In the Department of Colorado Education’s world, it’s not the percentage of students that make AYP; it’s the number of targeted subgroups, categories that are separated by race, ethnic groups, poverty, Individual Education Plans, and the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch plus combinations of categories.
The larger the district, the more likely it is to include all the target groups and the less likely to meet the state’s requirements. The districts that made AYP had an average of 33 targets, the largest districts, those that had an average enrollment of over 7,000, had to meet 83.
Because the CDE raised the educational limbo stick this year, 25 districts that were deemed successful last year weren’t this year, Graham found.
In Re-8 schools, total scores rose. But because math and reading for students with disabilities didn’t make the targets in the middle school, reading and math for Hispanic, English language learners and Economically disadvantaged students missed in the high school and economically disadvantaged and ESL students fell short of the goal in Butler Elementary, the district was among those districts that did not make AYP.
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