State establishes new AYP targets for schools

State education officials have revised the goals for “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP, that Missouri’s public schools will be expected to meet this year in an effort to help more schools meet annual academic performance objectives, according to a news release.

The U.S. Department of Education re-cently notified Commissioner of Educa-tion D. Kent King that it had approved the state’s request to modify the AYP targets that Missouri originally adopted in 2003.

In the revised AYP plan, 26.6 percent of students will be required to score at the proficient or advanced levels on this spring’s Missouri Assessment Program tests in communication arts for a school to meet the state’s AYP target. The previous target was 38.8 percent.

In mathematics, the new AYP target will be 17.5 percent instead of 31.1 percent.

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, all public schools are required to meet state-defined annual goals for adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics.

The annual AYP targets adopted by each state apply to all public schools and to specific subgroups of students, including low-income pupils, immigrants, minorities and students with disabilities.

No Child Left Behind requires that all students achieve at the “proficient” level in reading and math by 2014. Schools that receive federal funds under NCLB to educate low-income children are subject to penalties if they do not meet the annual AYP targets.

“Because our statewide testing system is still being redesigned to comply with No Child Left Behind, we requested the opportunity to amend Missouri’s AYP targets for 2005 in order to limit the negative consequences for schools across the state,” King stated in the release.

“We will need to revise our schedule of annual AYP targets again after the revised MAP exams are introduced in the spring of 2006. We think the revised AYP targets are far more realistic goals and will be helpful for many school districts throughout the state,” he added.