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Past 60 Days

More than 80 percent of schools make AYP - 85 schools lose Needs Improvement label

JULY 8, 2005 More than 80 percent of Georgias 2,040 schools made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2004-2005, Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox announced Friday morning. This represents the biggest percentage of schools to ever make AYP. Im thrilled with, but not surprised by, the results, Superintendent Cox said. I have been around this state and have seen how hard teachers, administrators and students are working. Governor Sonny Perdue congratulated teachers and students on their progress. Todays AYP report is clear: Georgia schools are showing tremendous improvement, Governor Perdue said. Educators are equipping our students with the tools to become Georgias future workforce leaders. The superintendent was particularly pleased that this year 85 schools came out of Needs Improvement status. (Needs Improvement schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress for at least two consecutive years in the same subject area). The great progress came even as the academic expectations increased for most of Georgias schools. Even though we raised expectations, the schools stepped up to the challenge, Superintendent Cox said. We cant relax, though. The bar will continue to get higher and higher over the next several years. But I know our talented educators and dedicated students will continue to make Georgia proud for years to come.

Among the highlights of the AYP report:

  • There were 1,642 schools that made Adequate Yearly Progress this year, about 80.5 percent.
  • The total number of schools who are in Needs Improvement status dropped by 59 this year. And of the states 354 Needs Improvement schools, 135 made Adequate Yearly Progress this year. If those schools make AYP next year, they will get out of Needs Improvement status. Since 2002-2003, the number of Needs Improvement schools has dropped about 34 percent.
  • For the second year in a row, about 95 percent of the states elementary schools made AYP. About 56 percent of the states middle schools made AYP, an increase of nearly seven percentage points.
  • There were 55 school systems nearly 30 percent that had every school in its district make AYP.
  • The academic expectations rose for the over 1,600 elementary and middle schools in Georgia. In those schools, 58.3 percent of the students in each school and each qualifying subgroup had to pass the math exam, up from 50 percent last year. In English/Language Arts, 66.7 percent had to pass, up from 60 last year. The high school benchmarks stayed the same this year.
  • Even though the academic bar jumped significantly this year, the percentage of schools meeting the academic expectations stayed nearly the same at 83 percent.

Superintendent Cox said the AYP results are further proof that local and state officials need to take a hard look at high schools. Only one high school came off Needs Improvement status and the percentage of high schools making Adequate Yearly Progress dropped from 2004. The states graduation rate rose slightly to over 67 percent, but Superintendent Cox said too many children still are not finishing high school. Educators, school advocates and community groups around the state and nation are working hard to redesign our high schools so more students will get their diplomas, she said. I wont be satisfied until every student in Georgia graduates from high school and is ready for what comes next. Governor Perdue said his administration is dedicated to ramping up achievement in later grades. Todays report further validates the need to make changes in Georgias middle schools and high schools, he said. We are making data-driven decisions and curriculum changes that will lead to better results in these two areas. Im looking forward to an enhanced partnership and better communication among schools from kindergarten to post secondary.

For more information about Adequate Yearly Progress and how it is calculated, click here.

To view the states Adequate Yearly Progress report, click here. (Because of planned maintenance, the states website may be unavailable at times over the weekend of July 9-10)

To see a video of the Superintendent's press conference, click here.

To view the slides from the Superintendents AYP presentation, click here.

To see a recent article on statewide efforts to improve the graduation rate, click here.

For more information, contact:

Dana Tofig, Public Information Officer