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Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
COCISD working to improve failing accountability standards
San Jacinto News- Times - December 2008
COLDSPRING – Although Coldspring- Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District (COCISD) received passing state accountability ratings and a Gold Performance Acknowledgement, it failed to meet federal accountability standards for 2007-200, according to COCISD Superintendent LaTonya Goffney. Speaking recently to a community meeting of about 50 people, most of them COCISD teachers, Goffney said the District, Coldspring- Oakhurst High School and Lincoln Junior High School failed to achieve federally mandated Adequate Yearly Progress standards (AYP). AYP standards are part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Coldspring Intermediate School and Street Elementary School met federal targets. The goal of AYP is to ensure that schools and school districts demonstrate continuous improvement each year toward 100 percent profi ciency in reading and math by the year 2014. This is the fi rst year COHS has not met AYP standards. Goffney said COHS was unsuccessful within the “economically disadvantaged” sub-population. There are no NCLB sanctions for non-compliance in the fi rst year. However, COCISD and LJH are in their second year of not meeting federal standards and are considered to be in Stage 1 Intervention. The primary reason COCISD and LJH missed AYP targets, Goffney said, is because of new testing requirements for the most compromised special education students. She reported that 2007-2008 mandates of NCLB require all Texas districts to test these students at their chronological grade level as opposed to their individual instructional level. For example, the law requires a 16-year-old mentally retarded student with a third grade reading level to test at a high school level. Nevertheless, COCISD and LJH are addressing all areas for improvement purposes, as is COHS. Andrea Seale, LJH principal, reported that she believes COCISD’s Response to Intervention program will assist teachers in identifying individual student needs in math and reading. As a District, COCISD is revising the District improvement plan as required for Stage 1 Intervention by NCLB. Finally, COHS has added a math lab for sophomores and juniors. Moreover, as last year, COHS freshmen continue to have a 90-minute block of Algebra. Cindy Cummings, COCISD curriculum director, told guests that federal reviewers base AYP ratings on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills results, participation rates, attendance rates, and graduation rates. Specifi cally, participation rates require testing to include 95 percent of all students. Attendance requirements mandate a 90 percent annual attendance rate among Street, CIS, and LJH students. And, graduation rates require that 70 percent of students entering the ninth grade graduate in four years.