Failing grades |

Failing grades

Two groups don't make adequate yearly progress

Rob Gebhart

Because two student subgroups performed poorly on state assessment tests, Moffat County School District failed to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Now, the school district is required by federal law to report the failure to all parents and develop a plan to improve unsatisfactory scores by 10 percent.

The No Child Left Behind Act measures the achievement of students in terms of adequate yearly progress, or AYP. In Colorado, schools are required annually to improve on the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests by set increments. The goal of No Child Left Behind is to attain proficiency in math and reading for all students by 2014.

Superintendent Pete Bergmann downplayed the school district’s failure to make AYP at a School Board meeting Thursday evening.

“The targets keep jumping, which means it’s going to get harder and harder to make AYP. I think the federal government has set itself up for failure and set unrealistic goals for schools,” Bergmann said.

The No Child Left Behind Act divides students into subgroups of white, Native American, Asian, and black, English language learners, economically disadvantaged and students with disabilities.

At Craig Middle School and Craig Intermediate School, the students with disabilities subgroups failed.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, if one group of students fails, then the entire district fails.

AYP only applies to schools that receive Title 1 funds from the federal government.

CIS receives Title 1 funds, so it will basically have to jump through more hoops than CMS, which doesn’t receive such funds, Bergmann said.

CIS will develop achievement goals and instructional objectives for its special education students.

Both schools will develop plans to decrease unsatisfactory scores by 10 percent, Bergmann said.

One positive outcome of failing AYP is that it means the district is almost guaranteed to receive a grant for school improvement, Bergmann said. Cheyenne Mountain School District is the only district in Colorado with 73 or more subgroups that made AYP this year.

Smaller schools with fewer targets met greater success in AYP, Bergmann said. Hayden School District had 33 subgroups and it made AYP.

Parents can expect to receive letters notifying them of the district’s AYP failure by the first week of January.

The school district is planning to host a meeting to discuss AYP at 6 p.m. Jan. 13.

“It will be interesting to see how the community reacts to this. I think it’s going to look worse than it is,” Assistant Superintendent Joel Sheridan said.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or

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