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New York State Differentiated Accountability - Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
New York State requires all students in grades 3 through 8 to take annual exams in English Language Arts and mathematics. Two years ago the State made substantive changes, increasing the length and rigor of the exams and raising the cut scores required to meet proficiency on the standards. We strongly believe in this initiative as we have always held high expectations for all of our students. However, we also believe that students should be assessed on growth based on multiple realistic assessments that accurately portray progress toward meeting standards. An outcome of the changes in the State assessments has resulted in one sub-group at the Parsons Memorial Elementary School, Students with Disabilities, not demonstrating Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2009/10 and 2010/11. Based on this one exam, NYSED has identified Parsons as a “School in Need of Improvement” (SINI) for the subgroup Students with Disabilities.
We are committed to the academic growth of every student and continuously engage in a thorough evaluation of our instructional program informed by student outcomes. We do not believe that this singular state assessment accurately reflects the growth of our special education students. At the same time the district is carefully examining all data and will continue to refine our curriculum, support structures, and teacher preparation to ensure that our students with disabilities are challenged and well prepared to achieve their greatest potential.
Parsons is one of 1,312 schools throughout New York State that did not make AYP for Students with Disabilities in 2010/11, an increase of 30% from the prior year. Our analysis (one shared by many researchers and experts in the field of assessment) indicates that AYP is a flawed and limited measurement for student growth, particularly for those students with disabilities.
We are proud of the Parsons Memorial School, as we are of all of our schools, for creating a culture that supports and challenges all students with a rigorous academic program. We remain steadfast in our commitment to a fully inclusive learning environment, one that differentiates instruction and assessment for the diverse population of students who reside in our community.
We thank you for your ongoing support of the Parsons Memorial faculty, staff, and most importantly the entirety of its student population.
Should you have questions about AYP, please contact:
Michael Greenfield, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Links for more information about NCLB and AYP