Juneau Keeps 155 Schools from Experiencing NCLB Sanctions


Monday, August 15, 2011
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Juneau Keeps 155 Schools from Experiencing NCLB Sanctions 
Resolves No Child Left Behind Conflict with U.S. Dept of Education

Helena, MT - Superintendent Denise Juneau has been in discussions with the U.S. Department of Education that resulted in a compromise agreement to use Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) of 84.4 percent in Reading and 70 percent in Math for the 2010-2011 school year.  This resulted in an increase of 1.4% in Reading and a 2% increase in Mathematics.

The scheduled AMO increases for this year were 92 percent in Reading and 84 percent in Math. Using these compromise targets, only two additional districts and sixteen additional schools are not making Adeqate Yearly Progress (AYP). If Montana had raised its AMOs to the scheduled increases, 155 additional schools and 84 additional districts would not have made AYP this year.

“I am pleased that I am able to provide some relief to our schools as we continue to wait for Congress to act to reauthorize the law, which is four years overdue,” said Juneau. "The U.S. Department of Education is hearing the states' demand for relief from this law as we work with educators and communities to improve our schools and pursue other areas of reform."

Superintendent Juneau also acknowledged the support she received from Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jon Tester in advocating to the U.S. Department of Education for a positive resolution for Montana students and schools.

Senator Baucus stated, “I spoke directly to Secretary Arne Duncan to urge them to work with the state, and I'm pleased to see the Department of Education has reached an agreement with Montana. It has been clear for some time that No Child Left Behind has created unnecessary burdens for Montana’s schools and its students, and it is essential that Congress fix this legislation as soon as possible.  In the meantime, this agreement brings some relief to Montana schools, and I applaud Denise for standing up for Montana.”

“I’m glad all sides came together and reached an acceptable compromise," said Senator Tester. "This more recent situation is yet another reminder of the significant shortcomings of No Child Left Behind for rural and frontier America. I will continue to work with Superintendent Juneau and Montana’s teachers and parents to make sure that the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act meets the needs of Montana’s students and school districts.”

A copy of the compliance letter to the U.S. Department of Education can be found on the OPI website: http://www.opi.mt.gov/PDF/Supt/Dept_of_Ed/2011-08-15_Arne_Duncan_AMO.pdf

The request to amend Montana's accountability workbook can be found here: http://www.opi.mt.gov/PDF/Supt/Dept_of_Ed/Amend_MT_Accountability_Workbook.pdf

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