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For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 4, 2003
Contact:Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106 or Kim Beck 781-338-3105

Majority of Schools and Districts Meeting Improvement Targets, AYP Results Show

Boston - Ninety-four percent of districts and 85 percent of schools in Massachusetts made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2003 in English Language Arts and mathematics for their students overall, advancing the state closer to the federal goal of moving all students to proficiency by 2014.

The 2003 Mid-Cycle AYP Reports released Thursday represent the first time the state has released AYP determinations for student subgroups in each school and district, in addition to students in the aggregate. These subgroups include Limited English Proficient, students with special needs, Free/Reduced Lunch, African-American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American and White.

Massachusetts as a state made AYP in the aggregate in both English and math. All but LEP and Hispanic students made AYP in English, and all but LEP students, Hispanic students and students with special needs made AYP in math.

In all, 14,311 individual AYP determinations were made this year. Of that, 83 percent -- nearly 11,000 - were "yes" determinations. Each school could have as many as 18 separate determinations, depending on the enrollment and student population.

"We anticipate that educators will use these results to identify the students or subject areas that require more attention," said Deputy Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan. "Our hope is that these annual reports will help us highlight areas where we need to improve long before schools need to worry about facing any serious consequences."

Schools or districts that did not make AYP for the first time this year are expected to focus on the particular group or subject that did not meet its target this year. These schools or districts will face no immediate consequences this year, but if they fail to make AYP for two consecutive years they will be formally identified for improvement.

Of the 237 districts that operate two or more schools in the state, 94 percent made AYP overall in English and math, but 164 districts, or 67 percent, did not make AYP for one or more subgroup in either subject or both. Among those districts, 58 made AYP for all but one subgroup in one subject.

The 2003 AYP reports showed that of the 1,698 schools that received AYP determinations, 85 percent made AYP in English, math or both subjects for students overall. Of the 256 schools that did not, 60 did not make AYP in English, 106 did not make AYP in math and 90 did not make AYP in either.

Fifty-three percent of all schools made AYP in both subjects for all students and for all student subgroups.

Other findings include:

  • Statewide, at least one subgroup of students did not make AYP in English or math at 625 schools, but did make AYP in the aggregate. Students in special education were the group that most commonly did not meet their target.

  • The participation rate of Limited English Proficient students fell slightly below the 95 percent requirement, but at 94 percent was an increase of more than 40 percentage points from previous years. This is the first year LEP students were required to be tested, regardless of how long they had been in the country.

  • 15 urban districts, or 68 percent, made AYP in the aggregate in English, as did 12, or 55 percent, in math. In all, 361 urban schools, or 74 percent, made AYP in the aggregate in English, as did 332, or 69 percent, in math.

Of the 208 schools identified for improvement in English, math or both subjects in 2002, 38 did not make AYP in that subject or subjects for students overall for the fifth time in a row in 2003, and will be moved into corrective action. In the future, schools will be moved into corrective action after not making AYP four years in a row, but because the regulations are new, the federal government has allowed one extra year.

Corrective action means that the districts in which these schools are located will be expected to make significant changes at the schools, which could include changes in curriculum, instruction, governance or staffing.

There are no school districts moving into corrective action this year.

More than 80 percent of the 208 schools identified last year made AYP in the aggregate in 2003 in the subject for which they had been previously identified.

To be identified for improvement schools must fail to make AYP for two consecutive years. As a result, the next time schools will be added to the improvement list will be at the end of Cycle III, in fall 2004.

According to the NCLB regulations, a school that does not make AYP two or more years in a row faces different consequences each year:

  • After two years of not making AYP, a school is identified for improvement, and is required to offer parents the option of sending their child to another school within the district that has made AYP.

  • After three years of not making AYP, a school must offer choice and supplemental services to the students most in need.

  • After four years of not making AYP, a school moves into corrective action

  • After five years of not making AYP a school moves into full restructuring

AYP determinations are based on four factors:

(A) participation rate in the 2003 MCAS administration,

(B) student performance in 2003 as compared to state performance targets for English and math,

(C) district or school improvement compared to 2001 and 2002 MCAS results, and

(D) attendance for elementary and middle schools or competency determination attainment rates for high schools.

A school or district is found to have made AYP by attaining a "yes" for either A and B or A, C and D.

To view the AYP reports for individual schools and districts, visit at http://profiles.doe.mass.edu, select a district, and then select "test results." At the bottom of the page, click on Cycle III Mid-Cycle AYP Determinations.

For more information on AYP, visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/sda/ayp/cycleIIImid/.



Last Updated: December 4, 2003
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