(08/28/2007)
Two of the three Calhoun County schools met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2006-07 under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, according to Calhoun County Superintendent Jane Lynch.

Calhoun High School (which includes Calhoun Middle) did not measure up to NCLB standards for Special Education Students in math and reading and in the Socio-Economic Status group (students eligible for free and reduced lunch) in reading assessment.

Arnoldsburg and Pleasant Hill elementary schools met the NCLB standards.

Lynch said part of the problem with special education is "We don't have enough identified students in those groups to meet the criteria."

Only five schools in the State of West Virginia met all the NCLB criteria. Gilmer and Wirt met the standards because their student enrollment is low, and some of the standards did not apply.

Calhoun's graduation rate is showing great improvement. In 2006 the rate was 72.5% and in 2007 is 80.7%. NCLB requires an 80% graduation rate.

"We have work to do at Calhoun Middle School to improve math and reading results," said Lynch.

The standards that a school must achieve to meet AYP are increasing. The increase in standards is mandated by the federal government so that 100 percent of students meet the NCLB proficient level by 2014.

West Virginia Achieves, the state's NCLB accountability plan, focuses on closing the achievement gap between student subgroups.

All West Virginia students are required to take the West Virginia Educational Standards Test (WESTEST), an assessment that measures student achievement.

Average Yearly Progress (AYP) is determined by WESTEST scores and attendance or graduation rates.

Another upward trend in the county's NCLB data includes an increase in both Reading and Math scores at Pleasant Hill and Arnoldsburg elementary.

"I believe that NCLB has helped educators focus on the improvement of all children, and believe we need to ensure all children progress," Lynch said. "but we recognize that schools need to also focus on quality instruction and that means embedding 21st century skills into all that we teach."

"While NCLB has played an important role in closing the achievement gap, we want to be sure to keep an academic emphasis on the quality of education."

For more information about West Virginia Achieves and the 2007 AYP numbers, visit the West Virginia Department of Education web site wvde.state.wv.us


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