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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Six County Schools Need Improvement; Five Miss AYP

 

By Joe Hart

TRENTON — According to recently released testing data, there are still children being left behind in Cape May County schools.
Six schools in this county were labeled as “schools in need of improvement” and five schools failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
According to a release from the state Department of Education, almost 71 percent of the 2210 New Jersey schools in which math and language arts proficiency tests were administered this spring met the standards.
That figure is down from last year’s 74 percent, a drop that most credit to higher standards this year.
Students with disabilities continue to be the subgroup that schools have trouble meeting standards for as well as the group they’re working hardest for, according to Cape May County Educational Program Specialist Michael McKnight.
“We (County Superintendent’s Office) feel the schools in Cape May County are working diligently to meet the goals of No Child Left Behind,” McKnight told the Herald regarding the recent release.
What jumped out at McKnight from the release was the large percentage of schools that passed when there are so many ways to fail. He said that schools are expected to meet standards in 41 categories and if the fail even one, they don’t meet AYP.
“Teachers and students are working harder than ever and in many schools, we are seeing real gains in student achievement,” Education Commissioner Lucille Davy said in a release.
“They may not be hitting all 40 indicators yet, but they are moving forward and we think it is very important that progress like that is acknowledged.”
The commissioner noted that the number of schools on the Schools In Need of Improvement (SINI) list – schools that have missed AYP for two or more years in a row – dropped from 505 in 2007-08 to 442 this year, a decline of more than 12 percent. In addition, she said, 415 schools made AYP through the Safe Harbor calculation, which meant that they reduced the number of students who did not achieve proficiency by 10 percent or more.
In this county, the following schools either failed to meet AYP standards, made AYP through a Safe Harbor program or were named a school in need of improvement:
• In Dennis Township, students with disabilities in elementary and middle school grades failed to meet AYP benchmarks in language arts testing. The middle school grades made AYP through the Safe Harbor calculation, which meant that they reduced the number of students who did not achieve proficiency by 10 percent or more. The elementary grades did not.
• In the Lower Cape May Regional School District, students with disabilities at LCMR High School and Richard Teitelman Elementary School failed to make AYP in both language arts and math testing while the Sandman Consolidated Middle School’s total population including white, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities did not meet AYP in language arts and only disabled students failed math. LCMR and Teitleman made Safe Harbor, but Sandman did not.
The high school is in hold status of Year 2 as a “school in need of improvement.” It is one of 125 schools throughout the state that must offer parents intra-district school choice at another school that did achieve AYP within the district. If choice is not available in the district, the school must offer supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, and develop and implement a school improvement plan.
• In Lower Township, students with disabilities at Maud Abrams Middle School failed to meet AYP in language arts but made Safe Harbor.
• In Middle Township, students with disabilities in Middle Township High School failed to meet AYP in both language arts and math and did not make Safe Harbor. Students with disabilities, African American and economically disadvantaged students in Middle Township Elementary No. 2 did not meet AYP in language arts but made Safe Harbor. Middle school students with disabilities and African American students at Middle Township Elementary No. 4 failed to meet AYP in both language arts and math while economically disadvantaged students failed only language arts. All three groups made Safe Harbor.
The high school is in Year 6 as a “school in need of improvement.” Sanctions for the 72 state schools in this year include implementation of the DOE-approved restructuring plans that they submitted during Year 5.
• In Ocean City, middle school students with disabilities at Ocean City Intermediate School failed to meet AYP in language arts but made Safe Harbor.
• In Upper Township, middle school students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students at Upper Township Middle School failed to meet AYP in both math and language arts, while economically disadvantaged students failed only language arts. Both groups met Safe Harbor. Students with disabilities at Upper Township Elementary School failed to meet AYP in language arts but made Safe Harbor.
• In Wildwood, the total population of Wildwood High School failed to meet AYP language arts and did not meet Safe Harbor. The total population of Glenwood Avenue Elementary School, including students with disabilities, African American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students, failed to meet AYP in language arts but made Safe Harbor. The total population of Wildwood Middle School, including students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students, failed both language arts and math but made Safe Harbor.
The high school is in Year 2 as a “school in need of improvement.”
Glenwood Avenue School is in hold status of Year 3 as a “school in need of improvement.” The 104 state schools in this year are required to offer parents intra-district choice, if feasible, and supplemental educational services, such as tutoring, using 20 percent of the Title I money they receive. They must also complete a school improvement plan.
The middle school is in hold status of Year 4 as a “school in need of improvement.” As one of 72 state schools in that year, it must allot 20 percent of its Title I funds for parental options, such as intra-district school choice, and supplemental educational services, such as tutoring; complete or update a school improvement plan and undergo a comprehensive review; and take other corrective actions.
• In Woodbine, the total population, including economically disadvantaged students, of both Woodbine elementary and middle students failed to meet AYP in math. Students in the middle school grades made Safe Harbor, while elementary school grades did not.
The elementary school is in Year 3 as a “school in need of improvement.
For more information on NCLB, go to www.state.nj.us/education/grants/nclb/
Contact Hart at (609) 886-8600 Ext 35 or at: jhart@cmcherald.com

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