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 Article of Interest - Education

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Bridges4Kids LogoSchool Improvement List Sees Temporary Balloon
Gongwer News Service, June 30, 2003
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The list of schools under sanction for having not met adequate yearly progress two years in a row will grow by as many 1,000 schools in the next few days. But that list will likely drop back down to about 200 schools after the next release of Michigan Educational Assessment Program data.

Department of Education officials said the U.S. Department of Education had disagreed with their interpretation of the No Child Left Behind Act, forcing the state to add the schools back onto its list of schools needing improvement.

Essentially, the 1,000 schools had not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the state's old definition of the term, but did under the new formula, said Jeremy Hughes, the state's chief educational officer. The federal law provides a one-year reprieve for those schools that only made AYP for one year.

State officials had interpreted that to mean those schools that had met AYP for one year did not have to be added to the list of schools needing improving. But federal officials said it meant only that the schools were not advanced to the next level of sanctions.

Because the schools had not met AYP for one of the two years under the new law, they were required to offer tutoring programs or transportation to a school that had met AYP for two years running.

Mr. Hughes said the department will be sending letters to those districts shortly offering them the choice of offering summer school programs with the funds they were supposed to set aside for the tutoring and transportation or of saving those funds for use next year if they do not make AYP.

But he expected most of the schools being added to the needs improvement list to be taken back off once new MEAP scores are released in July.

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