Regraded test results boost Teton schools
By Brielle Schaeffer, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
October 20, 2012
A recalculation of Teton County’s No Child Left Behind test results has given schools passing grades in categories they previously failed.
The refiguring didn’t change student test results, but included a formula that altered the grading standards.
When results were released by the Wyoming Department of Education last month, five schools in Teton County School District No. 1 did not meet adequate yearly progress, or AYP, in several categories during the 2011-12 school year. The schools were Colter, Davey Jackson and Moran elementary schools, Jackson Hole Middle School and Summit High School.
Refigured results released Thursday by the state show that Moran Elementary School met all benchmarks. Colter and Davey Jackson met language arts targets for all subgroups, and made progress in math in its free- and reduced-price lunch and special education subgroups. The schools did not make math targets for its Hispanic and English language learners student subgroups.
Jackson Hole Middle School students made progress in mathematics for all subgroups and its Hispanic, free- and reduced-price lunch, and special education subgroups met targets in reading. Its English language learner population failed to make progress in language arts. Summit High School is now out of AYP for math but remains in it for reading.
The district “made positive significant growth,” Superintendent Pam Shea said.
“These were targeted areas for our professional development and school improvement plans last year,” Shea said. “It reflects a focus on individual student achievement and hard work by principals, teachers and students.”
A few districts questioned their results and prompted the state to recalculate. Teton County School District No. 1 was among them, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill said.
The state did not take into account the “safe harbor” provision in its initial calculation, she said.
Safe harbor provides an alternative for a school to meet AYP if the percentage of non-proficient students decreased by 10 percentage points from the previous school year, made progress in other academic areas and had at least 95 percent participation in the assessment.
Last school year the state could not calculate safe harbor due to problems with the 2010 test, Hill said.
“It’s very complex,” she said. “There was a lot of work to be done. The process allowed us to have all this discussion so we could do the work and do it well.”
The Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students, which the state uses to determine AYP, tests students in grades three through eight and in 11th grade on math and reading. Kids in grades four, eight and 11 also take science tests.
No Child Left Behind requires all states to improve test scores annually until reaching 100 percent proficiency by 2014.