Two Columbia County high schools failed to make adequate yearly progress last school year.
In a report released last week by the state Department of Education, Harlem High and Grovetown High failed to meet the standards set by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
For the past three years, Harlem failed to make progress on its graduation rate, which measures the number of students graduating from high school in four years.
Harlem High now is in its second year on Needs Improvement, which is a list of schools sanctioned by the state for continually failing to meet academic goals in the same area.
As a school on Needs Im-provement, Harlem must offer students the option to transfer to a higher-performing school and optional tutoring services for those who remain.
To some, though, Harlem's assessment seems unfair, and the school is appealing to the state Board of Education.
At the high school level, graduation rates and student performance on the Georgia High School Graduation Test typically determine a school's adequate yearly progress.
When Grovetown High opened last year, about half of Harlem's students were rezoned to the new school.
Since Grovetown is new, its AYP indicator, in addition to academic performance, is attendance, not the graduation rate. Former Harlem students now attending Grovetown who fail to graduate on time still are counted against Harlem.
However, no information was available last week as to whether the former Harlem students not graduating on time had a large enough effect to hurt Harlem's AYP status.
Grovetown High failed to make AYP due to a low attendance rate and a large portion of students failing to pass the math portion of the GHSGT.
To go on Needs Improvement, it would have to fail to meet the standards for a second time in the same categories.
Phone messages left last week with Harlem Principal Dietmar Perez and Grovetown Principal Penny Jackson were not immediately returned.
Officials in the school system's central office didn't want to comment on the results until they are presented to the school board at its next meeting, on Wednesday.
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