Eight Clovis schools miss AYP mark

By Jean Verlich: Freedom Newspapers

Eight Clovis schools did not meet federal academic proficiency targets for the 2006-2007 school year, two more than last year.

Added to the list were La Casita Elementary for failing reading proficiency and the Arts Academy at Bella Vista because students with disabilities did not meet math and reading goals, according to results released Friday by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

“There were absolutely no surprises for us,” said Clovis Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm. “If you have enough kids to have special education and English Language Learners, you do not meet AYP.”

Seidenwurm was referring to the importance of subgroups in meeting Adequate Yearly Progress goals. A school will not meet the standards if any of several subgroups of students fail to meet performance or participation targets on tests. Those subgroups include black, white, Hispanic, American Indian, “economically disadvantaged” or poor, special education and students with limited English language skills.
“Most of our schools made good progress,” Seidenwurm said, “(but) the AYP designation did not change because of the subgroups.”

This was the fourth consecutive year Marshall and Yucca middle schools and Clovis High School failed to meet AYP, putting them on the list for corrective action. They can be required to implement a new curriculum, replace some staff members or extend the school day or school year.

There are 106 New Mexico schools in that situation this year, up from 33 last year.

Cameo Elementary and the Clovis High School freshman campus, formerly Gattis Junior High, have missed the mark five years in a row, marking them for restructuring, while this is Lockwood Elementary’s third year for failing.

After five years of not making adequate yearly progress, a school must develop a plan for overhauling its governance system, including possible takeover by the state. According to NMPED, 24 schools reached that point in this year’s ratings — up from 15 last year.

To point out the irony of the testing, Seidenwurm said, “Bella Vista’s test scores improved more than any school in the district” but failed AYP because “they did not have special ed last year,” but did in 2006-2007.

“The rules … are really unfair for special ed and English Language learners,” she said.

La Casita Elementary is a dual-language school, Seidenwurm said, and has “gone back and forth” meeting AYP from year to year.
“There are 37 ways to fail and only one way to make it,” Seidenwurm said. “Every indicator has to be met.”

Seidenwurm noted “we did restructure” Gattis as the ninth-grade campus. She said the state is considering revising its methodology to follow the federal statutes and have just one grade tested between ninth and 12th grades instead of two. If that happens, the ninth-grade campus will be classified the same as the high school.

Grady, Texico and Melrose school districts met AYP goals for 2006-2007. Fort Sumner High School did not, although it did last year.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Schools missing AYP
• Arts Academy at Bella Vista — Did not meet math proficiency: students with disabilities. Did not meet reading proficiency: students with disabilities.
• Cameo Elementary — Did not meet math proficiency: all students, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged.
• Clovis High School — Did not meet math proficiency: Hispanic, English Language Learners, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged. Did not meet reading proficiency: Hispanic, English Language Learners, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged.
• Clovis High School Freshman Campus —Did not meet math proficiency: English Language Learners, students with disabilities. Did not meet reading proficiency: English Language Learners, students with disabilities.
• La Casita Elementary —Did not meet reading proficiency: all students, Hispanic, English Language Learners, economically disadvantaged.
• Lockwood Elementary — Did not meet math proficiency: English Language Learners. Did not meet reading proficiency: English Language Learners.
• Marshall Middle — Did not meet math proficiency: English Language Learners, students with disabilities. Did not meet reading proficiency: Hispanic, English Language Learners, students with disabilities.
• Yucca Middle — Did not meet math proficiency: English Language Learners, students with disabilities. Did not meet reading proficiency: English Language Learners, students with disabilities.