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Published: Tuesday, 8/16/2011

All schools in Bedford system meet federal goals

Michigan releases 2010-11 report card

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

All five elementary schools, the junior high, and the high school in the Bedford Public Schools district made the academic goals of the federal No Child Left Behind law during the 2010-11 school year, according to school report card information released Monday by the Michigan Department of Education.

Elementaries and the junior high school in the 5,100-student suburban Toledo school system achieved A grades and its high school posted a B grade in making Adequate Yearly Progress. The schools achieved the same results in the previous year.

Overall, fewer Michigan public schools met proficiency targets required under No Child Left Behind than did in the previous year.

State officials blamed the sharp drop on higher expectations of standardized tests. About 14 percent of Michigan's schools had failed to meet adequate yearly progress standards in 2009-10, compared with 21 percent in the most recent round of testing.

"We must continue to set high expectations for our schools so our students are prepared for the competitive global economy," Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement. "But we need an accurate and honest reflection of where our schools are in preparing our students."

Just 60 percent of Michigan's high schools made adequate progress this year, down from nearly 82 percent a year ago. Similar declines have happened in other years when higher testing targets have taken effect.

Mr. Flanagan said he expects the percentage of schools making adequate yearly progress will continue to fall next year as Michigan increases its testing standards. The bar required to meet progress standards is rising faster than the general improvement on Michigan's standardized test scores.

Mason Consolidated, Ida Public, Summerfield, Dundee Community, and Whiteford Agricultural schools were among other Monroe County school districts that met adequate yearly progress. Individual buildings in the districts also made met the standard.

Monroe Public Schools as a district achieved adequate yearly progress. However, Arborwood Elementary and Monroe High failed because some subgroups of students in the buildings did not reach their targets, school officials said.

"We know we have more work to do," said Barry Martin, director of state and federal programs for Monroe Public Schools. "Each school has developed a specific school improvement plan to address student achievement needs and we will use the strategies we've established to help all of our students achieve higher educational levels."

All states are required to establish annual English language arts and math proficiency targets under the No Child Left Behind law. Those targets generally are getting higher and are expected to reach 100 percent by the 2013-14 school year.

Michigan is among the states that have requested a waiver from meeting the 100 percent proficiency standard.

Schools that repeatedly fail to make adequate progress face sanctions. Those penalties get tougher each subsequent year, culminating in restructuring for schools not meeting the standards for six or more straight years.

The state said 93 percent of its school districts made adequate yearly progress overall this year. Notable school districts not making the grade include districts in Detroit, Albion, Alpena, Battle Creek, Highland Park, Jackson, Muskegon, Pontiac, Saginaw, and Ypsilanti.



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