Steamboat Springs The inability of some non-English-speaking students to complete a state assessment test means the Steamboat Springs School District did not meet state and federal guidelines for student progress.
The district fell short in one of its two Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, targets handed down from the Colorado Department of Education. The state Department of Education sets AYP guidelines and targets as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
The district and its four schools met all of their performance targets, but Steamboat Springs Middle School did not meet the participation requirement because less than 95 percent of its students took the math portion of the Colorado Student Assessment Program test. The participation requirement was not met because some of the school's English Language Learners couldn't complete the CSAP math test, school officials said this week.
The Spanish-speaking students tried to take the CSAP math test but did not answer enough questions for their scores to count as "completed sessions," director of curriculum and instruction Kelly Stanford said. As a result, the students were recorded as not taking the test.
Stanford delivered the news to the Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday, adding that there are no repercussions for the district besides having to share the news with the community.
"If we were not meeting (AYP guidelines) for performance reasons, we would be concerned," Stanford said.
Middle school Principal Tim Bishop expressed his frustration Monday with No Child Left Behind guidelines. Steamboat Springs Middle School was rated as a "School of Excellence" last year by the state. Bishop said other school districts have asked to visit his school to see how it teaches math.
"(The English Language Learner students) didn't understand the test and what was asked of them, and I don't blame them," Bishop said. "It bums me out when these kids are doing the best they can, and we still get docked. It disappoints me, not on a local level, but on a national level."
Stanford said she is confident that the implementation of full-time English as a Second Language teachers at all four district schools will help ELL students more fully participate in state assessments, including math, this school year.
Steamboat also failed to hit Adequate Yearly Progress participation requirements for elementary reading and middle school reading. Officials said the schools didn't meet specific participation targets for low socioeconomic students in elementary reading, middle school reading and middle school math.
The South Routt and Hayden school districts met their AYP guidelines for the 2005-06 school year.
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