Rider Fails To Meet Federal Progress Standards

Rider Fails To Meet Federal Progress Standards

Wichita Falls is separated into three high schools. Two schools met AYP. One did not.

AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) is the measurement of the progress schools make each year related to the percentage of 10th grade students that pass the math and reading standardized tests.

Last year, Rider did not meet AYP. The ideal percentage of students passing the math test was not met in all Rider’s subgroups (white, Hispanic, and low-socioeconomic).

According to Vice Principal Synthia Kirby, AYP is measured through the federal government. It is for schools that accept federal funds for free and reduced lunch, which Rider does not do. Though Rider does not have to meet AYP by that technicality, Kirby says that it is one of the administrators’ goals.

“We’re putting new things into place this year,” Kirby said.

Freshmen who did not pass the math test must take regular algebra 1 as well as a math lab course. Sophomores who did not pass must take both geometry and math models. There is also increased tutoring for each of the four core areas.

With these new policies, Kirby thinks we will meet the goal in math this year.

“My area of concern is English/language arts,” Kirby said.

Unlike previous years, sophomores’ skills will be tested in the EOC test instead of the TAKS.

“In the past we’ve done so well,” Kirby said. “But this year it’s a different test. It will be like comparing apples to oranges.”

According to sophomore English teacher Polly Birkhead, the reading section is harder but more comprehensive. However, the writing section is completely different. There is no longer a personal narrative. Instead, there are two essays: persuasive and expository.

Sophomore Kayleigh Del Rio said that taking the STAAR for the first time last year was nerve-wracking, but she thinks this year it will be less difficult. She said that her English teacher, Hannah Clement, prepares the class for the test by having them do STAAR formatted essays, multiple-choice worksheets, and class discussions.

“I expect there to be a learning curve,” Birkhead said. “Teachers don’t know the test as well as they know TAKS, and we’re not getting information from the state.”

In years past, Rider did not qualify for federal funding, but that may change soon. If the AYP goals are not met, that would not only be bad publicity for Rider, but the school would also be subjected to federal actions for improvement.

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