Pennsbury School District has concerns, and may possibly face consequences with President Bush’s plan “No Child Left Behind” after receiving recent PSSA test score results.
The plan was passed in 2002 by President Bush. The program was created to show the progress of students in each school district nationwide. School Districts which do well receive extra funding, and naturally those who do poorly will receive less.
Mary Beth Panic, a teacher in the Pennsbury district, presented the Pennsbury District School Board Meeting with her concerns, and ideas of improvement for test scores.
Each yeah the Pennsbury School District must make certain quotas, which is based on there Adequate Yearly Progress. There Adequate Yearly Progress is collected from the 11th grade class and based on performance, graduation, and participation.
No Child Left Behind requires each district to have 35% of all students to be advanced or proficient in math, 45% advanced or proficient in reading, and 80% graduation rate, and have 95% of the class in participation (attendance).
Pennsbury met all the above requirements. The 11th grade class had 58% advanced or proficient in math, 66% advanced or proficient in reading, a 97% graduation rate, and 98% participation rate.
However, No Child Left Behind also have category’s for special ed, economically disadvantaged ,based on those students who receive free or discounted lunches, and race. If 40 or more students from any of these category’s does not meet adequate yearly progress the district will be have a warning, and in return have to come up with a school improvement plan.
In Pennsbury, 74 special ed students did not make the bench mark, and 43 economically disadvantaged children also did poorly on the PSSA tests. Only 27% of the students were advanced or proficient in reading and 28% were advanced or proficient in math.
Panic explained that it isn’t a matter of wanting an improvement plan, it was needed for those children in the targeted category’s. The Improvement plan would include district assessment, a target instruction program, unified courses, modifications of study, development of staff. A summer reading program, and increased reading and writing in certain area courses.
Panic states that this improvement plan may allow us to reach “safe harbor” which federally means that the district has shown that 10% of the students in targeted areas have reached advanced and proficient.
The Improvement plan still has many questions to be answered, and will not be voted on untill the next board meeting.
In other news,
•Mr. Joe Gallo, a physical and health education teach at Edgewood Elementary school since 1993, has been named Physical Education Teach of the year in the state of Pennsylvania
•Afton Elementary School raised $4,000 in a week for Muscular Dystrophy Association Research