Maine Reports School Progress to Feds

Adequate Yearly Progress

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education released its annual report on the progress of schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Under NCLB, in order to meet adequate yearly progress Maine schools are required to meet higher targets/benchmarks than the previous year. While schools may have demonstrated significant growth over the past nine years of this law, continuous improvements are required by this federal law. As a result, while test scores and school performance remained level or increased incrementally each of the past three years, the number of schools “making adequate yearly progress,” according to the federal requirements, has dropped. By the 2013-14 testing year, 100 percent of students in all subgroups must be proficient for a school to achieve the status of making adequate yearly progress.

”The Department of Education continues to help willing schools adopt innovative practices and focus on personalized learning for all students, which if applied help to improve performance,” said Department of Education Commissioner Angela Faherty. “We will continue to provide resources and support that have been shown to improve scores.”

The Department has provided professional development to teachers and support to schools that have adopted successful strategies, such as literacy training for all teachers across the curriculum, SAT online preparation and expanded access to Advanced Placement courses. In addition, the adoption of standards for eight content areas and training provided by the Department have resulted in districts focusing on the core curriculum, improved student assessments and immediate interventions for struggling students.

Faherty cited two examples of schools that have boosted student performance in recent years:

  • Searsport District High School has implemented a standards-based educational system and a comprehensive system of just-in-time interventions. Over the past four years, the percentage of students proficient in reading rose from 22 percent to 50 percent. In writing, the percentage rose from 27 percent to 44 percent.
  • At Gray-New Gloucester elementary schools (RSU 15), the percentage of 5th grade students scoring proficient in math rose from 60 percent to 72 percent over four years and in reading from 65 percent to 73 percent. The schools implemented all-day kindergarten several years ago and today’s third-graders have taken world languages since 2007-08. The schools have also worked closely together to create coordinated programs for all grades.

Faherty said the AYP status report’s value is in the information it provides parents, educators and local school boards so that they can be engaged in local decisions around improving student achievement school-wide. The status of Maine schools is determined by achievement results on the New England Educational Assessment NECAP (the former Maine Education Assessment MEA) and the Maine High School Assessment. All students are required to take these assessments in both reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and the 11th grade SAT. In addition, a sampling of students takes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

“Just as with the NECAP, the trend in Maine and nationally, as shown by NAEP scores, has been flat scores in reading and math for five years, but there are examples of success,” Faherty said. “We are looking at those and sharing them with schools. We are hopeful that more schools will join us in bringing these innovative programs to students.”

What are the consequences/benfits of not meeting adequate yearly progress? Title I schools (those with populations of economically and otherwise disadvantaged children) that don’t make adequate yearly progress for two years in a row are eligible for resources and financial assistance from the Department in their work to improve student learning and test scores. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Education.

View complete statewide and school results, as well as a Fact Sheet about federal accountability

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education

2010-11 Results and Explanatory Material

The 2010-11 Adequate Yearly Progress status of schools is based on a combination of their previous AYP status and whether they met academic, test participation and attendance/graduation targets in the 2009-10 testing cycle. AYP status must be reported to the U.S. Department of Education and reported publicly by the Maine Department of Education.

The academic targets for 2009-10 testing (2010-11 AYP status) increased significantly. The targets are the percentage of students who must be proficient in reading and in math. Proficient means students meet or exceed the standards in the content area. The targets must be met by the student population as a whole and also in eight subgroups: students with disabilities; economically disadvantaged; limited English proficient; and five ethnic groups.

In order for schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress in 2010-11, they had to meet the following targets in 2009-10 testing.

  • Reading, grades 3-8: 66 percent of students must be proficient (up 8 percentage points from the previous year)
  • Reading, grade 11: 71 percent of students must be proficient (up 7 percentage points)
  • Math, grades 3-8: 60 percent of students must be proficient (up 10 percentage points)
  • Math, grade 11: 54 percent of students must be proficient (up 11 percentage points)

Schools also had to show a participation level in accountability testing of at least 95 percent in each category and average daily attendance of at least 92 percent in grades 3 through 8 for all subgroups. For high schools, a graduation rate of 80 percent or greater was required.

Of Maine’s 621 public schools, the 2010-11 AYP status breaks down as follows:

  • 276 are “making AYP,” which means students at all tested levels are meeting the annual targets in both math and reading;
  • 181 schools are in “monitor” status, meaning they were “making AYP” in 2009-10, but did not meet targets in at least one subject in the 2009-10 testing; if these schools meet targets in the current testing year, they will go back to “making AYP” status;
  • 137 schools are in “Continuous Improvement Priority Schools” (CIPS) status; this means that they have not met targets for at least two years in a row; this group includes 49 schools that entered CIPS status for the first time;
  • 25 schools are in “CIPS on hold” status, meaning they are poised to come off the CIPS list; these are schools that were in CIPS status last year and met all their targets this year; if they meet the targets again next year, their status will be “making AYP;” and
  • There are 2 schools with no AYP status – for one there is no testing data; the other is a School Improvement Grant school and is granted a fresh slate under federal law.

Of the 30 schools that were in “CIPS on hold” status last year, more than half – 17 – made all targets in 2009-10 and are now “making AYP.”

2010-11 AYP Status
Based on 2009-10 AYP status and whether schools met targets in 2009-10 testing

Making AYP 276 (44%)
Monitor 181 (29%)
CIPS 137 (22%)
CIPS on hold 25 (4%)
No rating 2 (0%)
Total schools            621