Murfree takes exception to AYP report -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Murfree takes exception to AYP report

Dougherty Co. Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree Dougherty Co. Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree

Despite just half of Dougherty County's 26 schools making AYP, the Dougherty County School Superintendent says the district has no failing schools.

In the first round of results, two fewer schools made AYP in the first round this year, compared to last year.

Dougherty County has four schools in the Needs Improvement status this year, three high schools and one middle school.

School officials say they're proud of the improvement they saw in math scores and while they need some work in reading and language arts, they continue to struggle with secondary indicators like attendance and graduation rate that keep schools from making AYP.

Dougherty County Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree says the fact that 13 schools didn't make Adequate Yearly Progress in the first round, doesn't meant the system is failing.

"There are no failing schools, first and foremost, in this district," said Murfree.

Administrators instead are looking more closely at the data and areas where students did improve. In 22 of the 32 categories that make up Adequately Yearly Progress, Dougherty County saw improvements.

"This year our math scores were, had, greatly increased but I know we put a lot of emphasis in mathematics this year because we just rolled over the GPS standards trying to make sure we're meeting that," said DCSS Testing Coordinator Renee Bridges.

In some cases it's the second indicator that's holding the schools back. Neither Albany Middle nor Dougherty Middle made AYP and in one case it was attendance that held back the school. At Albany, Dougherty and Monroe High it was the graduation rate.

"There were numerous students that we did appeal because they did attend another school where we had not been notified by that school that they had changed enrollment," said Bridges.

School officials say it's difficult because an entire system can miss AYP all because of one student.

"A school can make AYP in every category but one and it can be by one student which is the case in many of our schools one student say in students with disabilities, or economic disadvantage and its keeping them from making AYP as a whole," said Bridges.

Over the summer they've held remediation classes and retested many students and expect the number to improve.

"We have summer school and additional programs that, where our students can complete and be added into the final total," said DCSS Board member Darrel Ealum.

The final number however won't be released until mid-September, and while the entire system likely won't meet AYP they do expect to add another three to six school to the list.

School officials say they hope to take the concentration they put on math last year and apply it to reading and language arts.

The percentage of all schools that made AYP statewide was just 63%, compared to 71% last year.


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