AYP Achievement A Milestone For FWCS

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 7, 2010 Updated Oct 7, 2010 at 5:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne Community School students, teachers, and administrators are celebrating a first-time achievement for the urban corporation.

The district has made what's called, "Adequate Yearly Progress", or AYP, for the first time since the "No Child Left Behind Act" was enacted in 2001.

It’s good news, but there is also reason to temper excitement regarding the designation, because more improvement is still needed.

The second largest public school district in Indiana gets high marks for achieving Adequate Yearly Progress in all 37 categories judged.

The complex process requires the district as a whole and as individual sub-groups of students to exceed testing benchmarks on English and Math portions of the I-STEP + exams, as well as meet testing participation rates and other performance standards.

Actually, students in some categories did not hit identified testing targets, but they did show significant improvements over 2008 to get the designation.

Wendy Robinson Ed.D./FWCS Superintendent: " If you use this as a national measure, you can't expect for all the kids to be on the same level at the same time. But what they want to know is, whether you're improving, whether you're doing better year after year after year."

Mark Giaquinta/FWCS Board President: " They're recognizing the harder tasks that confront districts like Fort Wayne, by saying if you're making 10 percent growth a year, we're going to reward you."

Sub-groups of students include those who receive free or reduced lunches, special education students, and those from various ethnic backgrounds, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans.

An entire sub-group can receive a passing grade if a portion of the group meets specified standards.

For example, Asian elementary and middle school students with FWCS did not hit identified targets, but good results from high school-age students in that sub-group pulled the whole category up.

Success this year does not guarantee success in future years.

No Child Left Behind includes testing targets that keep going up, leading up to 2014, so what's good enough this year, may not be next year.

Northside and Southside High Schools are at risk of experiencing consequences as underperforming schools.

Individual school results are not yet available.

However, preliminary numbers indicate 22 of the district’s 51 schools made “AYP”.

District officials are closely examining 10 more for possible appeals to also make the grade.

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