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Wyoming Education Officials Unveil School Progress Report

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The Wyoming Department of Education released its list of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) decisions based on 2012-13 school year Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students (PAWS) and ACT data for schools and districts today in Cheyenne.

Of the 351 individual schools in Wyoming, 171 met AYP, which was 48.7 percent of Wyoming Schools. Last year 205 out of 354 schools made AYP (57.9 percent). Nearly 73 percent of districts met AYP as well.

AYP is a federal measure used to determine if schools across the country are successfully educating their students under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The law uses state standardized tests to determine if all students and subgroups of students are making progress towards meeting state academic standards. When a school or district does not meet AYP, it can lose the ability to determine how to spend some of its allotted federal monies.

Dr. David Holbrook, Administrator of the WDE’s Federal Programs Division, said  there is a whole host of things that are dependent on AYP determinations, including restrictions on funding and how funding needs to be used, Title I funding in particular, as well as eligibility for School Improvement Grants.

Under NCLB, states are required to determine whether schools and districts made AYP in four major indicators, including reading achievement, math achievement, test participation, as well as an “other indicator.” At the high school level, the “other” indicator is graduation rates, while the “other” Wyoming indicator at the elementary and middle grades level is a school’s percentage of students scoring in the below basic performance category in reading. If the school’s percentage of students scoring below basic in reading is below 15 percent in the current year, the school has met the additional indicator.

The percentage of students who are measured as proficient or above is known as an Annual Measurable Objective (AMO). The AMO target for AYP for the 2013-2014 school year is 100 percent of students proficient in reading and math, as measured on the state exam in the Spring of 2014.

In August of 2013, the State of Wyoming received a one-year freeze on escalating AMO targets from the US Department of Education, making this year’s AMOs identical to those of a year ago. Wyoming is not eligible for the AMO freeze this year. This means that without reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or Wyoming being granted the Flexibility Waivers offered by the US Department of Education, the AMO targets of 100 proficient for this school year will remain in effect.

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