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Cobb Subgroups Show Improvement on AYP

Despite Progress, District Remains on Needs Improvement List

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data released today shows Cobb County students made significant improvements over 2005, especially in subgroups of students that caused the District to miss AYP in previous years. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (OSA) released the 2006 AYP determinations for all schools and districts in the state of Georgia.

Despite the progress made by most of Cobb’s students, the District remains on a list of school districts in Georgia identified as not making “Adequate Yearly Progress”. Districts and schools that do not make AYP for two consecutive years are deemed “Needs Improvement”. Cobb is on the Needs Improvement list for the second year. As in 2005, the academic performance of subgroups resulted in the District not making Adequate Yearly Progress. In 2005, the subgroups were English Language Learners, Hispanic Students, and Students With Disabilities who did not meet standards in multiple subject areas at multiple levels. In 2006, the subgroups were Black students and Students With Disabilities in only one subject area, mathematics, and at only one level, the Georgia High School Graduation Test.

This year the state raised the bar for high school mathematics, increasing the required percentage of students needing to meet or exceed academic standards from 62.3 percent to 68.6 percent. And while the two subgroups showed progress from 2005 to 2006, the gain was not enough to push the District to the required higher standard in math.

Overall, the subgroups identified in 2005 as not meeting standards made significant improvements (Open PDF file). Following last year’s report, the District developed a comprehensive School System Improvement Plan to address the areas of need. The plan appears to have been effective. English Language Learners, Hispanic students, and Students with Disabilities met the required standards in English/Language Arts and were removed from the list. English Language Learners and Hispanic students also were removed from the list in mathematics.

At the school level, 83 Cobb County schools (79.8 percent) met all AYP requirements in 2006, which means that 21 schools did not. That compares to 84 schools (84 percent) that met AYP requirements in 2005, and 16 that did not. This year, three schools were removed completely from Needs Improvement status – McEachern High School, Garrett Middle School, and Sanders Elementary School. Just one school (Norton Park Elementary) was added to Needs Improvement status.

“No Child Left Behind has presented Cobb and all other school districts with a formidable challenge,” said Cobb Superintendent Fred Sanderson. “As a whole, our District is performing very well, but there are isolated subgroups of students who are not meeting the standards in specific subjects. Last year we developed a strategy to target those subgroups and the results clearly show that we were successful. This year, a new subgroup that wasn’t targeted by our improvement plan did not meet the standard, so the work that we did wasn’t enough to change Needs Improvement status. We still have more work to do, and we know that we can’t leave any subgroup unattended.”

The state has three requirements to make Adequate Yearly Progress:

    1) Schools must test 95 percent of all students in all subgroups in both English/Language
        Arts/Reading and Mathematics.
    2) A set percentage of students must meet or exceed standards on state tests (CRCT, GHSGT)
        in all subgroups – regardless of ability. Those percentages are:
        a. Elementary/Middle English/Language Arts: 66.7 percent scoring 800+ on CRCT
        b. Elementary/Middle Math: 58.3 percent scoring 300+ on CRCT in grades 3, 4, 5, 7, 8;
            800+ on CRCT in grade 6
        c. High School English/Language Arts: 84.7 percent scoring 511+ on GHSGT
        d. High School Math: 68.6 percent scoring 516+ on GHSGT
    3) Schools must also meet requirements of a “second indicator”:
        a. Elementary/Middle: Attendance (Less than 15 percent of students absent 15 days or more)
        b. High School: Graduation Rate (60 percent or more of students with a regular diploma)

For more information and charts, click here

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