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Waynesboro school district meets 'adequate yearly progress' standards

July 10, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area School District met 2007-08's "adequate yearly progress" standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the district's interim superintendent announced this week.

Gloria Walker praised the administration and staff for their efforts.

"They truly did a commendable job this year with the students to increase student achievement," said Walker, who received the preliminary data July 1.

The district's graduation rate, which caused problems with AYP in the past, was at 90.5 percent and within acceptable rates, Walker said.

Much of AYP - a requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act - comes from student performance on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

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Scores from a special education subgroup of Fairview Elementary School students landed that school on a warning list, but Walker said the state's decision will be appealed. She said that several students who receive speech therapy were counted incorrectly.

Also, Walker said the high school's math and reading scores were low, but the school received "safe harbor" by making improvements over the previous year.

"You can ask for progress, you can't ask for perfection," Walker said.

Everyone at Waynesboro Area Senior High School worked especially hard in the last two years, she said.

School board member Pat Heefner, who feels today's students take too many mandated tests, criticized NCLB for comparing data from one class of students to the ones enrolled the following year. She questioned why students aren't tracked on their own progress.

Sometimes, one group of students will simply perform better in a certain subject than another group, Heefner said. Teaching quality and curriculum might not be to blame, she said.

"The fact we don't acknowledge that as educators I find disturbing," Heefner said.

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