School system fails AYP

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Decatur County School System did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) during the 2010-2011 school year.

The federally initiated No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 uses AYP to measure student achievement.

Of the eight schools in the system, the five elementary schools made AYP, while Hutto Middle School, Bainbridge Middle School and Bainbridge High School did not make AYP. In order for a system as a whole to receive a passing grade, all schools within that system must meet the AYP requirements.

Each school, based on academic performance in language arts, academic performance in math and test participation, either meets or does not meet AYP. Within each school, subgroups based on race, learning disabilities and economic situations are scored. A failure to meet AYP by any of the subgroups causes the entire school, and the entire system, to not earn a passing score.

High school graduation rates are also considered.

Bainbridge High School, in 2011, graduated 77.3 percent of students entering the school four years prior. The benchmark is an 85 percent graduation rate. The high school also missed AYP in the subgroups of black and economic disadvantaged students in both language arts and math. This puts Bainbridge High School in the Needs Improvement-3 category, representing the third year that the high school did not meet AYP.

Thirty percent of the high schools, 56 percent of middle schools and 76 percent of elementary schools in Georgia made AYP and the high school graduation rate statewide for 2011 was 79.5 percent. Roughly 63 percent of all schools in the state met AYP goals.

“If Congress does not change the No Child Left Behind Act, then no school will make AYP,” said Suzi Bonifay, assistant superintendent of curriculum for Decatur County. “The law says that by 2014, every student in every school will be on grade level and graduate in four years, on time.

“Every year the bar goes up, you have more schools falling into not making AYP,” Bonifay continued. “But, AYP has made us look at the performance of our subgroups, and made us look at how do we close the achievement gaps.”

Bainbridge Middle School falls into the Needs Improvement-1 category and did not make AYP in the subgroup of students with disabilities in language arts and the subgroups black, students with disabilities and economic disadvantaged in math.

Despite not meeting AYP criteria, Hutto Middle School did not fall into the Needs Improvement category because the school made AYP last year. This year, the subgroups of black students, students with disabilities and economic disadvantaged did not meet the standards in math.