Five Juneau schools meet AYP

Five of Juneau’s 14 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act last year, down from six in 2009-2010.

Auke Bay and Glacier Valley elementary schools, Juneau Douglas High School, the Community Charter School and Johnson Youth Center achieved academic targets in each of 31 different categories to meet AYP. Three schools – Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School, Mendenhall River Community School, and Gastineau Elementary – missed in just one category. And three more schools missed only two. Thunder Mountain High School missed three categories in its third year in operation.

For the first time in three years academic and graduation standards increased under No Child Left Behind, but Juneau School District Superintendent Glen Gelbrich says test scores show more students meeting the law’s targets.

“District-wide we met 95 percent of those standards. That’s up from last year, which was 94, and up from the year before, which was 93. So, even with the higher bar, we’re meeting more of the individual requirements than we were before. When you aggregate it all into the AYP formula it doesn’t add up,” Gelbrich says.

The standards will go up again this year. The goal of No Child Left Behind is to have 100 percent of students proficient in language arts and math testing by the 2013-2014 school year.

The law breaks students into nine different subgroups, including ethnic and socioeconomic status as well as students with disabilities. Gelbrich says that aspect promotes targeted improvements.

“It encourages you and you really need to do the drilling down in order to address what some of that criteria is,” says Gelbrich. “I would argue that, I’m not sure we need the law in order to do that. We want to know about each student, where is he or she in relation to where we want them to be.”

The district will host its second annual “School Summit” on Thursday August 25th at Thunder Mountain to share the AYP results with the community.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development released statewide results Friday. About 46 percent of Alaska schools met adequate yearly progress last year, a 14 percent decline from the previous year.

The Obama administration recently announced it would allow states to opt out of the Bush-era law’s requirements starting this fall. State officials say they’ll review the waiver requirements when they’re announced, and decide whether Alaska will opt out.