Most Montana Schools Not Meeting Federal Standards - News, Sports and Weather

Most Montana Schools Not Meeting Federal Standards

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While Montana's public schools are making improvements overall, they didn't make the mark this year, according to the Adequate Yearly Progress.

Four hundred thirty-seven of Montana's 818 schools did *not* make Adequate Yearly Progress last year. The Adequate Yearly Progress report measures how schools are complying with the No Child Left Behind Act.

This year to make the grade, schools needed to have a 95 percent proficiency rate in Reading and a 90 percent rate in Math.

In Flathead County, 16 schools met the A.Y.P. report standards, but 30 schools did not.

In Missoula County, only 10 schools met A.Y.P. standards and 31 schools didn't.

Silver Bow County only saw three schools meeting the federal standards with nine not.

And Gallatin County saw the most of the four counties, with 24 schools meeting A.Y.P. standards and 20 schools not meeting those marks.

Of those 20 schools not meeting A.Y.P. in Gallatin County, eight of those schools were in the Bozeman Public School system and three were in Belgrade.

The three of five schools in the Belgrade Public School system were secondary schools, Belgrade Intermediate, Belgrade Middle and Belgrade High Schools did not meet A.Y.P. standards.

This was the fourth year Belgrade High School didn't meet A.Y.P. standards.

Superintendent Candy Lubansky said those schools missed the mark in Math.

She said the reason behind Belgrade's elementary schools meeting A.Y.P. and the rest didn't is because of the math taught at those levels.

"It becomes math literacy in the sense that you are looking to math as one of those resources to solve unique and novel problems," said Lubansky.

Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson said it's a different story in Bozeman.

"All the subgroups in the schools have to make proficiency and meet those bench marks and we did not have that in our subgroups," said Watson.

Those subgroups are students with disabilities and students facing social economic problems.

Both school systems have one thing in common, they are both opening a new elementary school this month.

Lubansky said because of the new Saddle Peak Elementary School, they were already planning on some of the changes suggested in the report.

"Specifically with our middle school restructuring already this year we are already ahead of that ball," said Lubansky. "As we think of a new middle school model, we had to think about that already."

Lubansky said fifth grade will be treated like an elementary level, instead of intermediate...while sixth grade will be treated as if it were a middle school level.

Watson said the A.Y.P. doesn't reflect really how schools are doing.

"I believe we provide an outstanding program in our district," said Watson.  "We are working hard to make sure we are helping all students succeed. The test is one way to measure success and doesn't tell the whole picture. "

According to the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, all schools must reach a 100 percent proficiency rate in all areas by 2014.

To see how your child's school ranked, click here.

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