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Mixed news for schools

LO schools meet AYP marks but district comes up short

For the sixth year in a row, all Lake Oswego schools met the state's preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) marks for 2010-11, which were released in a report by the state Tuesday. However, the district as a whole did not meet the standards, which are a requirement of the No Child Left Behind law.

Overall, the district sees the results as a positive since the target percentage required to meet the standards in English language arts and math raised 10 percent this year. Seventy percent of all students and 70 percent of all students identified in subgroups must meet the standards.

Also, Communications Director Nancy Duin said, the state changed the math assessment test by increasing the math achievement standards for third through eighth grades.

AYP is measured by assessment tests for all students in each district in the state. This includes subgroups, such as disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, English language learners and ethnic groups.

One subgroup not meeting the standards can cause the district to get dinged. That is what happened to the Lake Oswego School District.

The one subgroup that didn't reach the 70 percent mark is high school students with disabilities. This subgroup achieved 53.69 percent in the math portion, when 70 percent is required.

'We're still at the initial stages of looking at this,' said Superintendent Bill Korach. 'At first blush, as standards get ratcheted up, we really have to look at the subpopulations.'

Korach said the district is responsible for every student who lives in its boundaries, even though not all of them attend Lake Oswego schools. Such is the case with many of the students with disabilities.

He said the students with disabilities who are in the schools are meeting the standards; it is those who are not who are missing the mark.

'We need to take a really good look at this,' said Korach. 'We need to look up every student we are responsible for and look at their scores. We need to zero in on students with disabilities.'

The challenge of meeting the AYP standards is only going to get more difficult, said Korach. Next year, the minimum percentage of students passing rises to 80 percent. By 2014, all state districts are expected to have 100 percent of students meeting all the benchmarks.

'This is within reach for us,' said Korach. 'We just have to work harder.'

The district will get more detailed information about the assessment scores when the official report is released.