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School system just misses AYP
BI, Liberty improve graduation rates
Demere Bowen
Demere Bowen - photo by Courier file photo
After summer retests and summer graduation, Liberty County School System still failed to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress standards, the federally mandated education evaluation system that follows with the No Child Left Behind Act.
Although Bradwell Institute was the only one of the 13 public schools in Liberty County not to meet the testing criteria, all schools must meet the standards in order for the system to be designated an AYP system.
However, both high schools fell in line with state’s overall rising graduation rates.
Bradwell’s graduation rate went from 73.5 percent in 2008 to 76.7 percent in 2009. Similarly, Liberty County High School’s rate rose from 73 percent in 2008 to 77 percent in 2009.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, the state graduation rate is up to 78.9, a three point increase from last year.
“A three-point jump in our graduation rate means that nearly 4,500 more students graduated with a full diploma this year than did last year,” said state Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. “Our high school principals, teachers and students should take a lot of pride in the fact that more students than ever are graduating in Georgia.”
Since 2003, the state’s graduation rate has risen more than 15 points from 63.3 percent to 78.9 percent.
“In a short period of time, we have increased by thousands the number of students who are graduating with a full diploma,” Cox said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we are making steady progress every year.”
While their graduation rate increased, Bradwell failed to meet other standards in the academic performance section. Administrators from LCSS were unavailable for comment. They had two system-wide furlough days on Monday and Tuesday of this week and weren’t in the office.
But after the initial reports, which weren’t changed by further summer testing, LCSS spokeswoman Demere’ Bowen said that it was a small fraction of students who caused the system to fail.
“It merits mentioning that although Bradwell Institute did not meet AYP standards overall, the general population of students still had passing scores,” Bowen said.
“The overall student population at Bradwell Institute did not meet or exceed AYP requirements of 87.7 percent in the area of English and Language Arts, although 87.6 percent did meet or exceed the rate, missing the mark by a tenth of a percent,” Bowen said. “More importantly, only one subgroup fell below the required rate in this category, causing the school as a whole to fall into the ‘did not meet AYP standards’ category.”
Liberty County High School remains in the Needs Improvement category as they just made AYP for the first time this year. According to the state Department of Education, about 86 percent of schools across the state are making AYP standards.
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