Janesville school fails requirements

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Jason Smathers
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
— Edison Middle School is on notice from the Department of Public Instruction after failing to meet requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

While all other Janesville schools met requirements for the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress review, Edison missed the mark this year on reading standards for students with disabilities.

All schools are required to have 74 percent of students and student subgroups, such as racial categories and disabled students, score at least proficient or advanced on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam. This year, only 33 percent of Edison’s special education students scored proficient or higher.

Edison met progress standards in 2008-09 but missed the mark in 2005-06 and 2007-08. During the last five years, Edison students with disabilities never reached the required 74 percent threshold on reading exams.

Incoming director of curriculum and instruction Dr. Kim Ehrhardt dealt with similar shortfalls during his tenure as principal of Franklin Middle School. Franklin’s students with disabilities did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards in 2006-07 and 2008-09. Ehrhardt said the district would respond at Edison just as it did at Franklin—by targeting weak areas in specific test sections and providing intensive instruction for November’s test.

“We just made sure that they [understood] it, and if they didn’t, we worked with them until they understood it,” Ehrhardt said. “I think the piece that helped students (at) Franklin, was that we made sure they went into these tests with confidence.”

Despite the gap with Edison’s students, Ehrhardt said the district will start focusing on a more “holistic” approach, which will focus on students in elementary school entering the sixth grade to prepare them adequately for the WKCE.

While Edison did not meet standards this year, it still is listed as satisfactory. Schools are not subject to sanctions until two straight years of Adequate Yearly Progress failure. After that, schools must create an improvement plan and offer parents the ability to send their child to a higher performing school in the district.

Wisconsin schools will be facing a bigger challenge next year, when proficiency standards in Wisconsin rise for both reading and mathematics. Schools will be required to have 80.5 percent of their students proficient in reading and 85.5 percent proficient in mathematics. The goal is to have 100 percent of students proficient in both areas by 2014.

Last updated: 2:08 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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