Original URL: http://www.azstarnet.com/star/fri/30725RSCHOOLSREPORT.html

Calif. test challenges schools even more
July25, 2003
By Kara Shire

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Seventy percent of California's public schools failed to meet the state's newest accountability measure released for the first time Thursday.

The "Adequate Yearly Progress," or AYP, is the latest academic performance measure.

It was created to meet federal No Child Left Behind guidelines that require every student be proficient in math and English by 2014.

Schools must prove their students' academic know-how by demonstrating annual progress that meets a state-set standard.

That standard starts out low - just 12 percent of the average district's students must score proficient in English this year, 12.8 percent in math.

But by 2014, 100 percent of California's students must be proficient under No Child Left Behind rules.

State education leaders said they expected the poor performance on the first round of AYP reports and it was consistent with student performance in other states.

The biggest problem for many school districts was student participation.

Federal guidelines require schools to test 95 percent of their students - including ethnic subgroups, English language learners, poor and disabled students.

If a district fails to do so, it automatically fails its AYP.

Schools that continue to fall short could see penalties kick in next month when 2003 AYP results are released.

Title I schools that do not make their AYP for two years in a row will face federal rules, which allow students to transfer to higher-performing schools.