Friday, September 4, 2009

Adequate Yearly Progress

The ripples of No Child Left Behind continue. The 2008-2009 results are in, and David Jesse has a lot of the Washtenaw County data posted online at here.

Overall, the schools in Washtenaw County did fairly well. The only schools not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) were Stone High School in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti High School, and Willow Run High School.

Ypsilanti High School: It appears that Ypsilanti High School is a lot closer to reaching AYP than the other two schools. For instance, at Ypsi High School, Black/African American, Economically Disadvantaged, and White student subgroups all meet 4/5 of the target areas. (The special education subgroup subset is not shown, but I think that in Ypsilanti special education students and/or Limited English Proficiency students are not meeting the targets, because the "overall" Ypsilanti High School standards are only being met in two areas.) One thing that stands out is that NONE of the subgroups in Ypsilanti, and in fact NONE of these three high schools, are meeting the graduate rate requirements--but Ypsilanti High School is only a few percentage points away from the targets.

Stone High School: According to the Stone School web site,
Stone high school is an alternative high school serving two hundred students, ages 15 through 19, who have been unsuccessful in traditional education. Stone High School is a full day, full school year, academic NCA accredited high school based on William Glasser's theories of Reality Therapy.
What is reality therapy? Read more about it here, but this is an excerpt:
The reality therapy approach to counseling and problem-solving focuses on the here-and-now of the client and how to create a better future. Typically, clients seek to discover what they really want and whether what they are currently doing (how they are choosing to behave) is actually bringing them nearer to, or further away from, that goal.
I'm not sure that we can conclude that reality therapy doesn't work based on AYP scores and graduation rates, but it might be worth a second look. Because at Stone School, it is not just that graduation rates aren't being met (which isn't surprising--many of these kids already dropped out once). In fact, NONE of the goals are being met. Stone School is too small to have subgroups.

Willow Run High School: At Willow Run, the subgroups meet some of the goals, but overall NONE of the goals are being met.

The way that AYP is calculated is complicated, and it is getting more complicated every year, because a 100% compliance goal is only about 5 years away (I think the 2013-2014 year). In any case, if you want to understand more about how the calculations are done, you can look at the Michigan Department of Education Adequate Yearly Progress page.

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