Juneau Releases NCLB Report, Looks Ahead to a State-Based Accountability System


Friday, August 2, 2013
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Juneau Releases Federal NCLB Report, Looks Ahead to a State-Based Accountability System 

HELENA - Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today released the eleventh annual Adequate Yearly Progress report (AYP) to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The current testing goals require that 94.8 percent of students score proficient or above in Reading and 90 percent of students score proficient or above in Math. Last year's testing goals or “Annual Measurable Objectives” (AMOs) for were 89.6 percent in Reading and 80 percent in Math. In 2014, NCLB mandates that 100 percent of students in Montana schools score proficient or above in Reading and Math on the state test.

Schools are currently required to meet 41 benchmarks on the state test to meet AYP under the federal NCLB law. A school’s Adequate Yearly Progress is calculated based on test participation, academic achievement, the graduation rate and student attendance.  The AYP graduation rate goal is currently 85 percent.

Superintendent Juneau stated, “No Child Left Behind is a broken system that has been overdue for reauthorization by Congress for six years.” She continued, “We need an accountability system that provides meaningful information to educators, parents, students and communities about the educational outcomes in Montana’s public schools. It’s time for us to work together as Montanans to decide which measures will help us truly analyze the quality of public education in our state and use those measures to develop a new, state-based accountability system.”

Montana continues to outperform the nation on measurements of student achievement. According to the 2011 'Nation’s Report Card', only one state scored higher than Montana eighth graders in math and no states scored higher in reading.  In grade four math, only seven states scored higher than Montana, and in grade four reading only five states scored higher. In the latest science report card, Montana's eighth graders shared the highest score in the nation with just three other states and our fourth graders ranked second-highest.

During the 2011-2012 school year, Montana's graduation rate increased from 82.2 percent to 83.9 percent. The national graduation rate is 78.2 percent. Montana students consistently outpace the national average on the ACT and SAT college entrance exams.

Continued Juneau, "Parents want to know that Montana’s public education system is preparing their children to be successful adults. While we should review how student performance grows over time on the state exam, there are additional measures that demonstrate the quality of education in our state.”

Superintendent Juneau suggested the following measures should be considered when analyzing the quality of Montana’s education system: 

  • Improving graduation rates,
  • Decreasing college remediation rates,
  • Increasing college-going rates,
  • Reducing achievement gaps,
  • Assisting struggling schools,
  • Providing high-quality instruction,
  • Providing flexibility and promoting innovation, and
  • Supporting student health and safety.

"We continue to celebrate our great educational outcomes in Montana as well as confront our challenges," said Juneau. "Montana educators continue to strive to improve our education system and graduate students who are prepared for life after high school. Communities and families deserve an accountability system that provides them with a complete picture of the educational experience and results of their local public school.”

Information on the above measures and the efforts underway to make Montana’s great public education system even better can be found here: http://opi.mt.gov/pdf/ayp/2013/2013-AYP-Additional-Measures.pdf.

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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