More Alabama schools meet growth goals

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama State Department of Education said more schools across the state met 100 percent of their yearly progress goals last school year than in the previous school year.

In a statement to FOX6 News, The ALSDE released its annual Adequate Yearly Progress report, a student performance report on each school as part of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The ALSDE said 1,190, or 86 percent, of Alabama's 1,376 schools met 100 percent of their AYP goals this year, a three percent increase from the previous year.  The ALSDE also said it experienced a 29 percent reduction in the number of high poverty Title I schools identified as needing "school improvement" over last year.

ALSDE said the overall findings were "encouraging" because the percentage of students required to meet the proficiency rate was raised even higher in 2009.

Gov. Bob Riley, who serves as the state school Board president, commended the growth.

"Alabama's public schools have made tremendous progress during the past few years," Riley said in the statement.
"Just five years ago, only 23 percent of schools met all their yearly progress goals. The bar was raised again this year and 86 percent of schools met all their goals. Plus, we're seeing a decrease in the number of schools that need 'school improvement.' Proven programs like the Alabama Reading Initiative, Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, and ACCESS distance learning, are making a difference in teaching and learning across this great state."

Of the 186 Alabama schools that did not achieve 100 percent of their individual goals, 106 made 90-99.99 percent, 42 made 80-89.99 percent, 17 made 70-79.99 percent, 13 made 60-69.99 percent, and only eight schools statewide achieved less than 60 percent.

State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton pointed out that approximately 64 percent, or 119 schools, of the schools that did not make AYP this year missed it by only one goal.

The AYP status of schools and school systems is based on achievement on assessments of the state's academic content standards, participation rates on these assessments, and meeting the Additional Academic Indicators (AAI) based on attendance rates for elementary and middle schools and graduation rates for high schools.