Brattleboro Schools In AYP Hell

Brattleboro’s public schools again fell afoul of the federally-mandated standardized testing program, with all schools failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress in at least one and in some cases all categories.  A summary is below, but suffice to say, with regard to their filling in of ovals, our students are not measuring up to federal standards.

It’s hard to pick a winner this time.  Schools that made Adequate Yearly Progress last year in one ore more categories — specifically Brattleboro Area Middle School (BAMS) and Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) — did not do as well in 2013.  BAMS, in particular, dropped in both Math and Reading this year.  BUHS dropped in Reading.

The elementary schools, Academy, Green Street, and Oak Grove, all did the same as last year.  In the case of Academy, that means they made Adequate Yearly Progress in Reading in the All students and White student classifications.  They did not make it in Math either year.  Both Oak Grove and Green Street failed to make AYP in either Reading or Math in any of the three classifications.

For the record, the classifications are: All Students, White Students, and Students Receiving Free or Reduced Lunch.  There are other categories, but none of our schools have 40 students that fit those criteria, so we are not required to measure them.  

All five of our schools are somewhere in the federal Corrective Action process (more on that later).

A summary of Brattleboro test results is below.  The Reading and Math columns indicate whether or not a school made Adequate Yearly Progress for that test type.

2013 Reading Math Corrective Action
Academy Yes for All, White. No for F/RL. No, all groups 5th year
Green Street No, all groups No, all groups 3rd year
Oak Grove No, all groups No, all groups 1st year
Brattleboro Area Middle School Yes for All, White. No for F/RL No, all groups 3rd year
Brattleboro Union H.S. No, all groups No, all groups 2nd year

All Vermont public school test results are linked from the Vermont Education web site

Statewide, 81 schools made AYP, the same number as last year. 19 schools failed to make AYP for the first time this year.  

There is considerable debate nationally as to the attainability of the federal education standards mandated under No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top.  Even Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s Education Secretary and one of the architects of the Race To The Top policy, said in 2011 that if No Child was not “fixed”, over 80% of schools could be deemed failing nationwide over time.

The drop dead date for NCLB is 2014.  It’s 2013.  At least in Brattleboro, the lofty goal of 100% “proficiency” seems elusive as ever, even as the tools by which we measure our failure get more and more complex.  

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