Story last updated at 8/22/2012 - 2:13 pm
JUNEAU - Of 507 Alaska public schools, 236 schools - or 46.5 percent - made adequate yearly progress in the 2011-2012 school year under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development announced. The percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress increased by 0.8 percentage points from the school year 2010-2011.
Details are available under "School-level AYP Results for the 2011-2012 School Year" at http://education.alaska.gov.
Every year, the state measures schools' progress toward the federal law's goal that 100 percent of students be proficient in language arts and mathematics by spring 2014. Students' proficiency is measured by their performance on state assessments in reading, writing and mathematics in grades 3 through 10.
Each year under NCLB, schools must meet targets for the percentage of students who are proficient, as well as targets for attendance, graduation, and participation in state assessments. In all, there are up to 40 targets for each school.
If schools meet all of their targets, they have made adequate yearly progress. The targets for school year 2011-2012 are the same as for the prior school year: 82.88 percent proficient in language arts; 74.57 percent proficient in math; 95 percent assessment-participation rate; 85 percent attendance rate (for schools that do not have grade 12); and 85 percent graduation rate or an increase of 2 percentage points in the graduation rate (for schools that have grade 12).
The targets for language arts, mathematics, and participation in assessments apply not only to a school's assessed students as a whole, but to nine subgroups of students, if a subgroup has at least 26 students in a school: African-American, Alaska Native/American Indian, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Multi-Ethnic, Economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities, and Limited English Proficient Students. New this year is a federal requirement that subgroups of students meet the graduation rate target if there are at least three students in the subgroup.
Alaska public schools demonstrated some positive results:
71 schools that did not reach their targets in the 2010-2011 school year sufficiently improved to meet the targets in 2011-2012.
Eight other schools that had struggled in the past have now made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and no longer face consequences under No Child Left Behind.
The statewide graduation rate for the 2011-2012 school year is 69.39 percent, 1.39 percentage points above the previous year. In the 2011-2012 school year, 7,180 public school students graduated with a high school diploma.
The department's online information about this year's AYP data includes: a background explanation of NCLB's accountability system; a summary of the consequences for schools that do not make adequate yearly progress; a page of detailed AYP data for each of 507 schools; a list of schools that made adequate yearly progress; a list of schools that did not make adequate yearly progress; and a summary of schools by school district, showing which targets were met and which were not met.