Carson schools meet overall benchmarks for school improvement | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson schools meet overall benchmarks for school improvement

David Mirhadi
Appeal city editor

The Carson City School District has met its goals for yearly improvement under the federal No Child Left Behind act, the district announced Friday.

Five of the district’s 10 schools made adequate yearly progress last year under the federal act, based on standards in English language and math requirements that were increased this past year.

Bordewich Bray, Fritsch and Seeliger elementary schools made federal benchmarks for school improvement, as did Carson High School. Carson Middle School also made adequate yearly progress last year, but will have to receive the designation again this year to be determined adequate.

Empire and Fremont elementary schools remain on a “needs improvement” list for 2007-08. Mark Twain, Eagle Valley Middle School and Pioneer High School have been designated on a “watch” list, which means they did not meet adequate yearly progress for one year.

Seeliger Elementary and Carson High School were designated as “high achieving” for a 10 percent improvement over last year’s scores in English language arts.

The benchmarks for acceptable performance were raised in both areas this year.

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“We understand what the expectations are, and we continue to strive to meet those expectations,” said Susan Keema, associate superintendent for educational services at the Carson City School District.

Scores for the Carson City School District increased over last year, the district noted.

“Even though there were some schools that didn’t make AYP, the scores are going up. The district understands the purpose of NCLB, and the scores are going up,” Keema said.

School board trustee Joe Enge said he was disappointed that six schools didn’t meet adequate yearly progress, and criticized the district’s use of a research tool in evaluating student success.

The district is one of several in the state using a program that incorporates a team of teachers and administrators who evaluate a student’s engagement in the learning process.

“At least 60 percent of our students are attending a school that did not meet AYP,” he said. “This program has not proven itself.”

Of the state’s 654 schools, 249 were designated “in need of improvement” or on the watch list, up from 198 a year ago.

State schools superintendent Keith Rheault said the budget crisis combined with the raised standards played a factor in the results released Friday.

“The Nevada Department of Education and the school districts are concerned about the impact of additional budget cuts on student acheivement while higher expectations and increased proficiency targets remain in our future,” he said in a statement.

– Contact city editor David Mirhadi at dmirhadi@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1261.

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