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122 N.D. schools miss yearly goals

More than a quarter of North Dakota's public schools failed to make adequate yearly progress as established by the federal No Child Left Behind law during the school year that just ended.

More than a quarter of North Dakota's public schools failed to make adequate yearly progress as established by the federal No Child Left Behind law during the school year that just ended.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction said the number of schools that did not make progress increased this year. 122 of 460 schools, about 27 percent, did not meet the requirements, a slight increase from the 115 of 465 schools -- or 25 percent -- that failed to make the standards during the 2008-09 year.

Yearly exams are held nationwide to test students' proficiency in reading and math and see which schools are not meeting the mandatory standards.

The number of underperforming schools jumped from just 42, or 9 percent of schools, in the 2004-05 academic year. State officials have attributed the rise to a stiffening of standards required under federal law, which aim to have all students proficient in reading and math assessments by 2013-14.

To make the requirements, each school must meet or exceed an achievement goal established for its grade levels. Districts are also assessed, and 50 of the state's 181 districts -- including Grand Forks -- did not make the goals.

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That's more than last year, when 42 of 183 districts didn't make AYP, but still better than the 2007-08 report that showed 73 of 187 districts were below the requirements.

GF schools

Both schools at Grand Forks Air Force Base, Eielson Elementary and Twining Elementary/Middle School, made adequate yearly progress during the school year. And seven of the 10 elementary schools in Grand Forks met requirements.

But two of the city's three middle schools and both high schools failed to meet the standards this year.

South Middle School was below reading goals for American Indian students and students who do not read or speak English well. The school received a 46.1 percent reading achievement for its Indian students, well below the 80.7 percent goal.

Valley Middle School failed to make AYP for several reasons, including being well below reading achievement goals for American Indian, Hispanic and disabled students. The school also didn't meet the 66.7 percent math achievement goal for disabled students.

Central High School received a 43 percent math achievement result for disabled students, the only indicator not meeting the goal.

And Red River High School failed to make AYP for coming up short in the math and reading results for its economically disadvantaged students.

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Century, Phoenix and Kelly elementary schools each missed making AYP because of below-goal results in one reading category.

Grand Forks School District Superintendent Larry Nybladh said district administrators will analyze the results and look at last year's report to find trends and see if strategies put into place in the past have been effective.

"We'll be spending time in the coming months throughout the summer and into the fall developing response plans to these results," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Johnson reports on local K-12 education. Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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