August 17, 2005
Area school districts have begun analyzing results from the Adequate Yearly Progress Report. While many schools in our area passed, others have work to do. The reports are in and three Charlottesville schools did not make the grade.
According to the Virginia Department of Education, Walker Upper Elementary, Buford Middle, and Charlottesville High School all failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), but despite that school officials remain optimistic.
"The glass is half full," said Acting Superintendent Robert Thompson. "They didn't make it this year. They will make it next year."
The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to set annual objectives of proficiency in areas like reading and math. The 2005-2006 ratings show 19% Virginia schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress.
"It's pretty difficult for all of your schools to make AYP. I think we're improving, yes, but I also think we have a ways to go," explained Thompson.
Thompson and others say they plan to revise school improvement plans and do whatever it takes to improve scores next time around.
"Next year the results will be different, period," says Supervisor of Assessment Harley Miles.
Buford Middle School has not met the guidelines two years in a row, but Principal Timothy Flynn says it's all about improvement.
"I've seen growth every year with what's happening at Buford in the area of curriculum and instruction, so I anticipate additional growth each year until we achieve the goals of the state."
Flynn adds that parental involvement can also play an important role in their success. "It's not always how many PTO meetings you attend. Parental involvement for me is, when your child comes home, you may not understand the homework, but are you making sure that they sit down and do it?"
Officials believe that they are taking appropriate steps to ensure better results in the future, but we're just going to have to wait and see.
If you'd like to check out Virginia's school report cards, visit www.pen.k12.va.us and click on '2005-2006 Ratings Based on 2004-2005 Achievement.'