County school system meets AYP goals, Superintendent disputes Luverne score

Published 9:26 am Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Alabama State Department of Education released its annual Adequate Yearly Progress results last week, and officially, Highland Home and Brantley were the only two schools that made AYP.

However, Superintendent Randy Wilkes said that Luverne also made AYP, but an error is causing the result to show otherwise.

“We made AYP across the board,” Wilkes said.

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Highland Home met 21 of 21 goals, and Brantley met 17 of 17 goals.

Luverne met 22 of 23 goals (95.65 percent), with the only deficient goal coming in the area of special education.

Wilkes said that the results are dependent on the 2010-2011 graduation rate of special education students, and the state department has Luverne listed at a zero percent graduation rate.

“That’s an error,” Wilkes said. “You’ve got to be at 90 percent in that category, and we have 91 percent.”

Wilkes said that special education students have been documented throughout their years at the school, and many of those students earned a diploma.

“We’ve contacted the state and made an inquiry,” said Wilkes, who has been working to get the report corrected since the results were released to educators. “The bottom line is that Luverne made AYP.”

Once a school misses AYP for two years in a row, it enters School Improvement, which allows parents to transfer their child to another school in the system not in SI through school choice.

Luverne entered SI last year, and even before AYP results were released this year, school choice letters were sent out to parents because it takes two years to get out of SI.

Wilkes said that changes may be on the horizon for that program since the state of Alabama is looking to get out of the No Child Left Behind program.

“If the government accepts the plan the state presents, there will be no sanctions for the upcoming year,” said Wilkes, who added that school choice might become a thing of the past.

No matter what the future holds, Wilkes said he is pleased with the progress the system has made as a whole in the past year.

“Our test scores are higher than ever,” he said. “We met all our goals with the exception of one area, and we’ve got the data to show that we also met that one.”

Individual schools’ AYP results can be viewed online at .