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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Waiver targets schools that underperform

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Under a two-year flexibility waiver granted in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), interventions under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are focused on Virginia’s lowest-performing schools.

That’s according to a Virginia Department of Education news release.

The waiver requires, among other things, the state to designate the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools as Priority schools. Title I of NCLB provides funding for schools with high percentages of low-income students.

The waiver also, among other things, sets annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for narrowing achievement gaps in reading and mathematics. The AMOs serve as yearly progress goals for students in low-performing schools.

The AMOs represent the percentage of students within each demographic subgroup that must pass Standards of Learning tests in reading and mathematics to make acceptable progress toward reducing and closing achievement gaps, the release stated.

Albert Harris Elementary School, which was identified as one of 37 low-performing 2013-14 Priority schools in Virginia, is going through a three-year process to make improvements, according to a VDOE news release and Angilee Downing, assistant superintendent of instruction for Martinsville City Public Schools.

According to VDOE data for 2013-14 (based on 2012-13 assessments), Albert Harris did not meet the AMO target for “all students” in reading; and in math, it did not meet the AMOs for “all students” and the white students subgroup. Albert Harris also missed the higher expectations (MHE) requirement for Hispanic students. In all, there were more than 30 indicators.


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