Bad Grade For Local Schools? No, Says CCR-1 Superintendent By Mike Scott
Clark County R-1 Schools have been placed on a listing of schools needing improvement, along with some 250 other districts across the state.
The district failed to reach Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards required by the No Child Left Behind act. The two specific areas CCR-1 falls short are Math and Communication Arts scores from the MAP tests, among students with learning disabilities.
These students have IEP’s, or Individualized Learning Programs, which allow special help be given to the students.
“These are mostly special education kids with a learning disability. We have several students that we read tests to, or make other accommodations for their learning disability. When it comes to the MAP tests, we’re not allowed to do any of that,” said CCR-1 Superintendent Richie Kracht. “It’s very frustrating for the kids.”
A factor which is frustrating for school administration officials is that not all districts are held
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accountable for the performance of students in “subgroups”, such as IEP students.
“We’re held accountable because we’re a big enough school to have more than 50 students with an IEP,” Kracht said.
Among K-12 Districts in northeast Missouri, only Palmyra scored higher in the Communication Arts IEP subgroup, scoring 19.6 percent advanced or proficient, compared to CCR-1’s 11.8. By comparison, Scotland County scored only a 2.5 in that group, but is not accountable for that score because they do not have 50 or more students in the subgroup taking the test. The overall Communication Arts target with 42.9, and Clark County achieved at 42.7.
In Math, CCR-1’s score of 21.5 for the IEP subgroup was third in the area among K-12 districts. Overall, the district wide Math performance of 50.1 handily beat the target of 35.8.
Clark County R-1 will be required to submit an improvement plan to address the shortcomings. But the problem isn’t likely to go away any time soon, as the goals increase each year. For example, the Communication Arts goal increases to 51.0 percent advanced or proficient in 2007, and 59.2 percent in 2009.
“We’ll have to meet those standards overall, and within each subgroup,” Kracht said. CCR-1 has to report three different subgroups-White/Caucasion, Free and Reduced Lunch, and IEP.
“We’ve been told that within a couple years, every district in the state will be on the list,” Kracht said.
Ironically, most of the schools on the list received Distiction in Performance Awards last year, as did Clark County.
“We were actually very pleased as a district with out MAP scores,” said Kracht.
The district will be sending a letter to parents explaining the situation within the next few weeks.