As I mentioned in an earlier blog, back in 2008 four Jefferson County Elementary Schools were in the worst NCLB performance Category – Tier 5. They are:
o Atkinson Elementary
o Hazelwood Elementary
o Maupin Elementary
o Okolona Elementary
These schools all failed consistently to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for at least six years by 2008.
So, what is happening to those schools today?
According to the NCLB Media Report for 2009, all four schools were reconfigured after the end of the 2008-09 school year and prior to the start of the 2009-2010 school term. That reset their 2009-10 NCLB accountability status all the way back from a worst possible Tier 5 classification to having no accountability classification what-so-ever today – NONE!
Do you believe that?
Here is one example. This table summarizes the Maupin Elementary School’s NCLB performance by year since this program started.
Note that Maupin never, EVER, met the Annual Measurable Objective score for reading under NCLB. By my estimate, Maupin would be a No Child Left Behind Tier 5, Year 3 school in this new school term of 2010-11 (Note, the department of education had to rename the “Tier” system to avoid confusion because the federal government is now using that name for something else. The correct new term would be Restructuring, Year 3).
Never-the-less, Maupin faces no consequences what-so-ever in the current school term. It won’t face consequences until after the 2010-11 NCLB scores come out around August or September of 2011.
Maupin’s entire school staff got a “Get Out of Jail Free” card from the district’s parent- and student-hostile busing nonsense simply because the enrollment in the school changed by at least 20 percent. Do you think an enrollment change that small should wipe out all accountability?
Still to be decided – what happens if Maupin fails NCLB again. Will it go to a “Restructuring” classification, or just start NCLB all over at the least severe category of School Improvement, Year 1 (The old Tier 1)? I’ve been talking to the Kentucky Department of Education about this very serious question. So far, no answers, but the department is sensitive to this obvious problem.
By the way, I have similar tables to the one above for the other three Tier 5 schools from 2008. Click the “Read more” link to see that.
Atkinson is unique among the four schools in this list in that it actually met AYP in the 2008-09 school term. If it had met AYP again in 2009-10, it would have earned its way out of the NCLB sanctions program (schools exit sanctions if they make AYP for two successive years).
As you can see, that didn’t happen for Atkinson. But, thanks to Jefferson County “Bus-ting” NCLB, Atkinson got a “Get Out of Jail Free Card,” anyway. Is that in the best interests of this school’s students?
Hazelwood Elementary is interesting for a different reason. It has blazed a trail of grief for its students in reading ever since NCLB began. But Hazelwood actually started to perform badly under an earlier accountability program from the previous version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act that preceded the NCLB version.
That is why Hazelwood was already in Tier status by the time NCLB reporting started in 2002-03 on this table.
Here are some interesting questions:
Can Jefferson County play “NCLB BUS-ted” any time it wants? Will that happen over and over again in the future?
Busing has been going on in Jefferson County for decades. That clearly hasn’t done much to improve academic performance in the schools discussed here. All we are doing is subjecting different children to bad schools. Meanwhile, the educators in those schools have never really had their feet held to the fire. Neither has the local school board been held to account for continuing to impose its parent- and student-hostile busing scheme on everyone even thought the court mandate to do so was eliminated years ago and there is no evidence that this improves schools. Do you think it is time to demand better?
You can access the individual school NCLB reports I used to assemble the tables above from pull down menus here.
Access the NCLB Media Reports (and all other by year NCLB reports) by year here