Adequate Yearly Progress Report Released on Montana Schools


Friday, August 5, 2011
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Adequate Yearly Progress Report Released on Montana Schools
Test Scores Demonstrate Growth and Improved Student Achievement

HELENA - Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today released the ninth annual Adequate Yearly Progress report (AYP) to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). A large majority of Montana's public schools met the federal education requirements for yearly progress. Juneau also released data that shows consistent improvement in student test scores over time.  The report shows 609 (74 percent) of Montana’s 821 public schools currently meet the requirements of the federal law. 

"Montana students and teachers have been working very hard to improve test scores in reading, math and science. Their efforts are demonstrated by the progress in our overall academic performances statewide," Juneau stated.

Percentage of Students at or above “proficient” in Reading and Math 2005-2011

                                  Reading          Math

2005-2006                   78                    61

2006-2007                   81                    63

2007-2008                   81                    63

2008-2009                   82                    64

2009-2010                   84                    67

2010-2011                   85                    68

[Source:  Montana Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT) Scores, MontCAS]

Schools are required to meet 41 benchmarks on the state test to meet AYP under the federal NCLB. A school’s adequate yearly progress is calculated based on test participation, academic achievement, graduation rate and other statistics.  Every few years, the percentage of students who must achieve proficiency on state tests increases to get closer to the 2014 deadline of 100 percent proficiency for all students.

Superintendent Juneau held the state testing goal or annual measurable objectives (AMOs) steady this year. The current testing goals are 83 percent for Reading and 68 percent for Math. The scheduled jump for this year was 92 percent in Reading and 84 percent in Math.

"I'm not afraid of accountability or reform," stated Superintendent Juneau. "While we wait for long-overdue action by Congress to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, I am working with the public school community to improve education in Montana in a way that matters for our students and prepares them for college and careers."

Superintendent Juneau pointed to the following reform efforts currently underway in Montana:

  • Recommending the Board of Public Education adopt the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These standards are higher and clearer than our current standards, aligned with college and workforce expectations and designed to ensure our students are learning the skills they need to be competitive in a global economy.
     
  • Unprecedented collaborating in four communities to turn around the state's lowest-performing schools, which resulted in increases in the average CRT scores of all participating high schools in Reading, Math and Science.
     
  • Overhauling the Montana accreditation standards to make them more performance-based, giving schools the flexibility they need to focus on student achievement.  
     
  • Launching Graduation Matters Montana, a statewide initiative to improve graduation rates by engaging schools, communities, businesses and families in a focused effort to increase the number of students who graduate. 
     
  • Creating a new data warehouse to improve transparency and access to education data for the public and allowing more individualized instruction and support services for students by teachers and administrators.

"We continue to celebrate our great educational outcomes in Montana as well as confront our challenges," said Juneau. "Montana schools and students continue to outperform the nation. Where reform is necessary, we work in collaboration with Montana teachers and administrators to find a local solution that fits our rural communities."

The “Adequate Yearly Progress” status of each Montana school and district is summarized on the Office of Public Instruction’s Web site at: http://opi.mt.gov/AYP.



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