Who’s “On Improvement?”

Which schools are bringing students up to expectations, and which are not? The state Department of Education has the news, which is making the rounds. It has released a list of 35 schools and 11 school districts that are “on improvement,” which means that they aren’t living up to expectations.

The new list includes only “Title I” schools, which receive extra funding due to having a specified number of students getting a free or discounted lunch. Expect a list that reviews all schools sometime later this year.

Under No Child Left Behind, schools must meet performance targets (set by each state) in successive years. When a school does not, various conditions kick in, including a requirement that the schools offer remedial tutoring (or pay for someone else to do it).

So how strong are the achievement requirements? Just over two-thirds of K-8 students (66.8 percent) must be proficient (grade-level) in math–and only 55. 7 percent of high school students must be proficient. In reading, 69.5 percent of students must be proficient for a K-8 school to satisfy the law, while for high schools the number is 65 percent.
Most articles have a local angle. The Kansas City Star (“Kansas school improvement list includes 16 KC area schools,” August 14) says “Nearly half of the 35 Kansas schools tagged as “on improvement” by the state’s Department of Education this afternoon are in the Kansas City area.”

“The preliminary list of schools,” the paper says, “includes 13 from Kansas City, Kan., as well as Nieman Elementary in the Shawnee Mission district, Ridgeview Elementary in Olathe and Turner Elementary in Turner.

Kansas City, Kan., schools on the list are Banneker, Chelsea, Douglas, Grant, Bertram Caruthers, Mark Twain, Quindaro, New Stanley, Whittier and M.E. Pearson elementaries, and Argentine, Central and Northwest middle schools.”

The 11 districts include Kansas City, Kan., Leavenworth, Tonganoxie and Turner, all in eastern Kansas.

WIBW has the entire list in its story “New List of Schools Needing Academic Improvement.”It notes (see asterisks below) that some districts are on the list even though they have no individual schools on the list. It asks how this is possible.

Here’s the reply, which involves the technical nature of the law: “The minimum size of a subgroup (e.g. ethnicity, income level, special needs or English proficiency) must be 30 students. In many small schools, a subgroup of this size is not possible. However, at the district level, the aggregate number may be at or above 30 and must be calculated according to the No Child Left Behind Legislation.”

Title 1 Districts Identified for Improvement for 2007-2008
USD 202 Turner
4 Years on Improvement
Area of improvement: Reading
Number of Schools on Improvement: 1

USD 214 Ulysses
1 Year on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 1

USD 253 Emporia
2 Years on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 259 Wichita
4 Years on Improvement
Areas: Reading and Mathematics
Number of Schools: 9

USD 261 Haysville
2 Years on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 290 Ottawa
Year 1 Delay on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 305 Salina
1 Year on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 1

USD 445 Coffeyville
4 Years on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 453 Leavenworth
1 Year on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 457 Garden City
Year 1 Delay on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 3

USD 464 Tonganoxie
1 Year on Improvement
Area: Mathematics
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 480 Liberal
2 Years on Improvement
Areas: Reading and Mathematics
Number of Schools: 1

USD 490 El Dorado
2 Years on Improvement
Areas: Reading and Mathematics
Number of Schools: 0*

USD 500 Kansas City
4 Years on Improvement
Areas: Reading and Mathematics
Number of Schools: 13

USD 501 Topeka
2 Years on Improvement
Areas: Reading and Mathematics
Number of Schools: 2

USD 503 Parsons
1 Year on Improvement
Area: Reading
Number of Schools: 0*

*How can a district be on improvement yet have no identified schools on improvement?

The minimum size of a subgroup (e.g. ethnicity, income level, special needs or English proficiency) must be 30 students. In many small schools, a subgroup of this size is not possible. However, at the district level, the aggregate number may be at or above 30 and must be calculated according to the No Child Left Behind Legislation.

Title I Schools Identified for Improvement for 2007-2008
USD 202 Turner – Turner Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 214 Ulysses – Kepley Middle School
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 233 Olathe- Ridgeview Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 259 Wichita – Cloud Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Curtis Middle
4 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Hamilton Middle
4 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Irving Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 259 Wichita – Jardine Middle Magnet
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 2
Area of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Marshall Middle
5 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 4
Area of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Mead Middle
5 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 4
Area of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Pleasant Valley Middle
4 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Area of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 259 Wichita – Truesdell Middle
3 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 305 Salina – Lakewood Middle
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 430 South Brown City – Everest Middle
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 457 Garden City – Alta Brown Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 457 Garden City – Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 457 Garden City – Charles O Stones Intermediate
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 475 Geary County – Junction City Middle School
6 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 5
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 480 Liberal – Liberal South Middle School
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 2
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Argentine Middle
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Banneker Elementary
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 2
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Chelsea Elementary
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 2
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Douglas Elementary
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Grant Elementary
2 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 2
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Bertram Caruthers Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Mark Twain Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Quindaro Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – New Stanley
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – Whittier Elementary
4 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 500 Kansas City – Central Middle School
7 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 500 Kansas City – Northwest Middle
3 Years on Improvement
Improvement Status Years: 3
Area of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 500 Kansas City – M.E. Pearson Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 501 Topeka – Chase Middle
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Areas of Improvement: Reading and Mathematics

USD 501 Topeka – Scott Computer Technology Magnet
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

USD 512 Shawnee Mission – Nieman Elementary
1 Year on Improvement
Improvement Status Year: 1
Area of Improvement: Reading

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