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School system fails to meet AYP
Nine county schools below standard

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System has not met Adequate Yearly Progress after previously meeting it for three consecutive years, with nine of the schools in the system failing to initially meet AYP.

According to initial 2007-08 results that the Georgia Department of Education released Friday, NCSS as a whole did not meet the federal and state requirements based on academic performance.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, each year schools are required to meet certain set standards in academic performance based on scores from the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in elementary and middle schools and the Georgia High School Graduation Tests in high schools; officials also look at test participation and a second indicator, such as attendance and graduation rates, in which all NCSS schools did meet standards.

Results show the system did not meet requirements in the subgroup Students With Disabilities and Economically Disadvantaged students in CRCT mathematics and in the subgroup Students With Disabilities in CRCT Reading/English Language Arts.

"We are disappointed that for the first time the system did not make adequate yearly progress in the preliminary data release. A goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is that all students will meet the standards of performance in reading/language arts and mathematics," NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley said in an e-mailed statement. "When analyzing the data for all our subgroups, we need to improve the performance of our students with disabilities in reading and mathematics achievement on the CRCTs. Additionally, mathematics performance as taught through the new Georgia Performance Standards must improve for all other subgroups."

Since the school system met AYP for three previous years, it will not be placed on the state's Needs Improvement list; schools or school systems that do not meet AYP for two or more consecutive years will be placed on the list.

The Newton County public school system has three schools that are on the Needs Improvement list based on this year's AYP results and scores from previous years.

Clements Middle School did not meet AYP for the fifth consecutive year, causing it to keep its Needs Improvement status, as well as being required to continue to offer students the choice to attend another school not on the list; it also must offer supplemental education services and is in state-directed status.

Middle Ridge Elementary School did not meet AYP for the school year and therefore will remain on the Needs Improvement list. It met AYP for the 2006-07 school year, but it was required to meet AYP this school year in order to be removed from the list based on previous years' AYP results. As a result of remaining on the list, it must continue to offer students the choice to attend another school not on the list; it also must offer supplemental education services and is in corrective action for being a Needs Improvement Year Three school.

Porterdale Elementary School, which was on the Needs Improvement list for the 2006-07 school year, met AYP based on the 2007-08 data but must remain on the list and continue to offer school choice because it must meet AYP for two consecutive years to have its Needs Improvement status removed.

Based on the initial results, seven other schools in the system also did not meet AYP requirements based on 2007-08 data, but are not on the Needs Improvement list because it is the first year for them not to meet AYP. The schools are Livingston and Palmer Stone elementary schools, the three remaining middle schools and Alcovy and Newton high schools.

The state is expected to release final 2007-08 results in the fall, when it will include retest results from students who took the CRCT and GHSGT over the summer after not passing them during the school year.

A complete list of data for all of the schools in Newton County and across the state is available at the Georgia Department of Education Web site, www.gadoe.org.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar:

These schools did not meet AYP:

Livingston Elementary

Middle Ridge Elementary*

Palmer Stone Elementary

Clements Middle*

Cousins Middle

Indian Creek Middle

Veterans Memorial Middle

Alcovy High

Newton High

*On state Needs Improvement list.

Source: Georgia Department of Education