Thursday, December 9, 2010

An end to AYP?

Once Kentucky adopts a new state accountability system, Commissioner Holliday plans to ask federal permission to use that system in place of the No Child Left Behind rules requiring Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP  for each student demographic groups served in each school.  Brad Hughes of the Kentucky School Boards Association reported earlier this week on how Dr. Hollidays shared the idea with the KSBA Board:
“We want a better measure than AYP,” the commissioner said. “We’re pushing hard to get a comprehensive accountability model that measures not only the proficiency rates, but also closing achievement gaps, tracking every student’s growth, recognizing teachers whose students grow one or two grade levels when they were three grade levels behind to start with. We’ve been calling those folks failures. We need to praise them and tell them what a great job they’re doing in helping grow the children.”
In an interview following his remarks to the KSBA board, Holliday said he’s very optimistic that the AYP waiver can be obtained.
“We think (the Obama administration) is very open to replacing AYP,” he said. “We think Kentucky will be the first state to take that waiver request forward, but we think there will quite a few others. It’s all based on the new common core standards and growth models that could replace AYP.”
Notice how this idea relates to our new, more demanding content standards.   Higher standards almost certainly means that fewer students and fewer schools will measure up in the first few years of our new system.  In seeking the waiver, Kentucky can argue that our new goals will be tougher than the NCLB expectations as well as fairer.

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