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Schools sail through state tests

By By Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle City and Morgan County schools received near perfect report cards this week, with both systems receiving passing grades from the state.
For the fourth year in a row, each school in Hartselle reported meeting all its goals, known as AYP, or annual yearly progress. Morgan County’s system also made gains, with no schools in the school improvement category for the first time in four years.
Only Priceville High School did not meet all its goals, failing to meet the goal for graduation rate. Priceville High’s graduation rate was 88 percent, down from last year’s 90 percent and 2 percent short of the state goal. A school must either meet the 90 percent goal or show improvement from year to year to avoid failing its AYP goals.
Failure to meet one of the state-mandated goals means the school fails to meet AYP. If a school fails to meet AYP in the same category for two consecutive years, it’s moved to school improvement status.
Hartselle’s schools were among the 86 percent statewide that met 100 percent of its AYP goals system wide. The number of goals differs from school to school, depending on student composition. Students are tested in subgroups such as special education, black, Hispanic, limited English proficiency and those receiving free or reduced meals. Each subgroup must meet its goals to achieve AYP. Schools must also meet participation goals to achieve AYP.
The grading for schools is determined based on the state’s interpretation of the Federal No Child Left Behind program. In Alabama, proficiency in individual tests is ranked as zero and a positive proficiency demonstrates the percentage of students scoring higher than the goal. A negative number shows the percent of students missing the goal.
Hartselle’s third through fifth graders scored some 15 percent higher than the goal in reading and 20 percent higher in math. Sixth through eighth graders were 24 percent higher in reading and 34 percent higher in math.
Hartselle Junior High students scored 24 percent higher in reading and 34 percent higher in math.
Hartselle High School students were 9 percent higher in reading and 18 percent higher in math. It reported a graduation rate of 90 percent.
Schools in Morgan County also beat the state averages. System wide, third through fifth graders scored 15 percent higher than the goal in reading and 16 percent higher in math. Sixth through eighth graders were 21 percent higher in reading and 27 percent higher in math. High school students were 4 percent higher than the goal in reading and 16 percent higher in math.
The graduation rate system wide was 85 percent. Brewer High School reported 82 percent graduation rate; Danville High 89 percent; Falkville High 78 percent; West Morgan 89 percent; and Priceville 88 percent.

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