More Schools Don’t Make Progress in Borough, State


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Friday afternoon the State of Alaska released the list of schools that did and did not meet education standards under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Of Alaska’s 505 public schools, 203, or just more than 40 percent, did not make what is called "adequate yearly progress," or AYP, an increase of 10 schools over last year.

The rate for the Kodiak Island Borough School District is a little better. Of the district’s 14 schools, five did not make AYP, which is two more than last year. Though the numbers of schools not making AYP increased, Superintendent Stewart MacDonald found reason for optimism.

(AYP 1 23 sec "We went from having … improvement planning.

The first year schools on the list are Akhiok, Old Harbor and Ouzinkie. Kodiak Middle School and Kodiak High School have been on the "did not meet" list for several years. For Kodiak Middle School, meeting AYP is somewhat of a moving target.

(AYP 2 41 sec "Not only do they have to … English proficiency group.")

Kodiak High School did not meet AYP because of low scores in mathematics. MacDonald said the staff is already working on what he called an "intervention strategy" to make changes to the math curriculum for the upcoming school year.

One of the challenges for meeting AYP is the diversity of Kodiak, with a number of immigrant populations that have limited English language proficiency. However the district does not get much federal help in serving those groups:

(AYP 3 27 sec "There is a Title 3 … $20,000 for the whole district.")

MacDonald said the district spends far more of its own money on English proficiency intervention than it gets from the federal government. One highlight in that area is Main Elementary, which is in the 60th percentile in both poverty level and English proficiency, yet it made AYP, with scores of 81 percent in language and math.

MacDonald said he would like to see all the schools making adequate yearly progress every year, but he would like to see that as a natural outgrowth of the district’s teaching policies:

(AYP 4 39 sec "Rarely are we overjoyed … doing all of the right things.")

The Larsen Bay School, which did not meet AYP for several years, made adequate yearly progress for two years in a row, and was moved to the list of schools meeting the standards.

There will be a board of education special meeting and work session this evening, where MacDonald and his staff, including Melissa Byers, the director of federal programs and assessment, will be reporting the AYP results to the school board. It is open to the public.


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