One Columbia County school came off the dreaded needs improvement list and another came one step closer, according to the annual Adequate Yearly Progress report released by the state Department of Education on Tuesday.
In 2003 and 2004, Grovetown Middle School failed to make AYP because of poor math scores by pupils with disabilities. After making progress in that subgroup during the past two years, the school came off the needs improvement list.
The AYP report divides pupils into subgroups based on characteristics such as race, gender, economic status and disabilities. If too few pupils from any subgroup pass parts of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests or the Georgia High School Graduation Test, both of which are used as progress indicators, then the school can fail to make adequate yearly progress.
If a school fails to make AYP in the same subgroup and subject two years in a row, then it is placed on the needs improvement list. To come off the list, a school's failing subgroup must pass AYP two consecutive years.
Harlem Middle School also failed in the same subgroup and subject as Grovetown Middle and was placed on the needs improvement list. The school passed AYP this year. If it does so again next year, it will come off the list.
As of now, Harlem Middle is the only Columbia County school on the needs improvement list.
Harlem High School failed AYP last year for poor scores on the English portion of the graduation test by black and poor students.
Both subgroups made AYP in English this year, but black students did not in math, according to the state Department of Education Web site. Those math scores keep Harlem High on the bubble of ending up on the needs improvement list should black students fail that portion of the graduation test next year.
Other Columbia County schools failing to make AYP this year include Euchee Creek Elementary School and Greenbrier Middle School, both for failing test scores by pupils with disabilities, according to state DOE reports.
Pupils with disabilities at Euchee Creek Elementary failed English and those at Greenbrier Middle failed in math.
The report also indicates that the system as a whole failed to make AYP because of the academic performance of pupils with disabilities.
Evans Middle School failed to make AYP last year for poor CRCT math scores by pupils with disabilities. This year, however, the school did meet the state standard.
Phone messages left for county school officials were not immediately returned last week.
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