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Arlington Schools Fail to Reach Achievement Objectives

by ARLnow.com August 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm 1,318 15 Comments

Arlington Public Schools were among the 40 91 percent of school districts in Virginia that failed to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress objectives set under the No Child Left Behind Act this year. Arlington also failed to meet AYP objectives last year.

This year, 16 Arlington schools met federal AYP targets — down one from last year. The remaining 14 schools failed to meet AYP.

The neighboring Falls Church and Alexandria City school systems also failed to meet AYP. Fairfax County was the only school system in Northern Virginia to get a passing grade.

In announcing the results, the school system cited overall progress in several areas, including reading and math.

“This year’s results include several promising trends in academic achievement,” superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy said in a statement. “Improving student achievement requires tremendous dedication by everyone, and I commend our team of dedicated professionals for their continued commitment and effort to support our students.”

“As we prepare for the 2010–11 school year, we will build changes and improvements in our instructional program,” Dr. Murphy said. “This work begins with analysis of these results to determine what changes and adjustments should be made to ensure that our students attain greater success in the coming year.”

Several AYP benchmarks were made more stringent this year, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Education.

The results cited by the state are preliminary and may change when the final analysis comes out in September, the school system cautioned.

  • English teacher

    Is “spelling” among those objectives?

    • The classic education story mistake! Quick someone take a screenshot of the old “Acheivement” headline and send it to Jay Leno.

  • Looked at the scores from Dr. Murphy’s statement. Why didn’t W-L pass?

    • Novanglus

      For a school to pass, it has to make AYP in every subcategory AND test at least 95% of the students. Did W-L have an attendance issue?

  • V Dizzle

    Why no pass? Me no rite good.

  • MB

    This is approximately eleventy billion times more important than some stupid signage/zoning dispute, so one might think this post would be full of comments with questions and explanations. And yet . . .

    • Lou

      It’s troubling on the face of it, and as a product of ACPS (Nottingham-Williamsburg-Yorktown) I’m not pleased to hear this type of news. But NCLB has its issues as an overall piece of legislation and as the article mentions the metrics in some areas have changed this past year.

      In the bigger picture vis-a-vis sign boards, I could go off on a tangent about how Arlington does focus more on attracting hip urban restaurants because the majority of new households in the county do not have / plan to have children and do not care about money going to schools as long as they can get a wood fired pizza on every street corner. But I won’t go there.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Didn’t you know MB that Arlington is Lake Woebegon — any suggestion that all of its students, teachers and administrators are anything less outstanding is not permitted.

    First-year Superintendent Murphy’s press release is startling. He claims credit for 6 percentage point increases in Reading and 6 percentage point increases in Math over the last 3 years, which covers two years of Superintendent Smith’s tenure and one year of Murphy’s reign. But in Murphy’s year there was no increase in Reading pass rates and a scant one percentage point increase in Math. By my Algebra more than 90 percent of the credit goes to Smith (Smith had consistently strong gains year to year) — Murphy is posing and primping.

  • John Antonelli

    Highest paid teachers in the state. Half the County budget goes to schools and this is the best we can get? I want my money back.

  • Efrem

    They need to educate Arlington students in subject areas such as reading, writing, and arithmetic instead of indoctrinating them to become Democrap voting, braid-dead progressive misfits that believe Al Gore is God and Thomas Jefferson was a racist.

  • charlie

    the problem with AYP (and anything Bush did) is that it is statistical sound.
    if you have a class with 30 kids in it and five of them are minorities and four of the five fail the tests, then the WHOLE CLASS fails. So while everyone else might do just fine, extra weight is put on the minority groups achievement. Our elementary schools are what is drawing us down.
    Maybe our Superintendent can focus more on that and less on closing our wonderful Planetarium. But I guess like Gulf Branch and neighborhood libraries, the Planetarium is a distraction from the real budget and policy shenanigans.

  • linn

    You are wrong … Arlington is one of about 90%, not 40%, of the districts in Virginia that did not make AYP according to the VDOE’s Press Release. You are getting the percentage of schools that did not make AYP confused with the districts.

  • JosephRicks

    the kids are failures … they need to understand this; parents need to remind their kids on a daily basis that they are failures and remind them that video games are the only path to success.

  • doug

    One interesting fact about making AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) is that your goal moves every year. If you meet the goal one year, the next year your new goal is 5% higher and it keeps going up by 5% until you hit 100%. The first year or two, this feels fine, but after a few…that’s when you get 91% of schools failing to make AYP. It would be interesting to apply this methodology to other endeavors.

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