Yesterday, we received the preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reports for the 10-11 school year. A campus by campus breakdown is given below:
High School – Met AYP in all areas.
Middle School – Missed AYP in the subgroup Economically Disadvantaged in math. Met AYP in all other areas.
Intermediate – Met AYP in all areas.
Primary – Paired with Intermediate – met AYP in all areas.
So, at the campus level, the only campus that failed to meet AYP in all areas was the Middle School. It missed making AYP in only one area as mentioned above; however, as a district, we will show that we missed AYP in special education because of the cap placed on special education students. No campus missed AYP in math or reading in the sub-group Special Education, but the district missed AYP in this subgroup.
For our students in special education, the ARD committee decides which form of the TAKS test that a student should take. The ARD committee is made up of school personnel that work with the students on a daily basis and the parents/guardians. Basically, there are four choices: TAKS, TAKS Accommodated, TAKS Modified, and the TAKS Alternative. The TAKS and the TAKS Accommodated are in essence the same test. The TAKS Accommodated has more white space per page and does not include field test questions. Field test questions do not count for or against a student. Field test questions are embedded in the TAKS test in order to judge whether they are valid and reliable test questions for future TAKS tests. The TAKS Modified test, as the name implies, contains modified content based on what the ARD committee considers is reasonable for a student receiving special education services. The TAKS ALT test is reserved for those students with severe handicaps.
For AYP purposes, TAKS and TAKS Accommodated are treated as equal. The TAKS Modified tests are not considered equal to the TAKS or TAKS Accommodated. So, for students taking the TAKS Modified, a district is only allowed to count a certain percent of these students as proficient, regardless of how well they may do on the test. In our case, we had many of our special education student meet the passing standard on the TAKS Modified; however, after a certain percent (2% and/or 1%) the rest of the students are counted as non-proficient regardless of their performance on the test.
So, while each campus did not exceed this cap, when taken together as a whole, the district had enough special education students taking the TAKS Modified that it exceeded the cap and resulted in the district not meeting AYP in special education.
While I am disappointed that EISD will have the label of Missed AYP, I am firmly convinced that the people that make up the ARD committees are making the best decisions for our students. We will continue to work to increase achievement for all students; however, we will always put the needs of the students first. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.