The following are excerpts from an article in The Johnson County Sun highlighting how No Child Left Behind is providing additional resources to improve student achievement and increase the number of Kansas schools meeting state academic standards:
"Student achievement improved in Kansas schools last year, Andy Tompkins, state superintendent of schools, told members of the Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday. 'We made progress this year,' Tompkins said. Based on preliminary information provided to the board, six school districts and 15 Title 1 schools will be on improvement in 2004, compared to seven districts and 30 Title 1 schools last year. Title 1 schools are those that serve a higher percentage of low-income families than the average."
"'What we're seeing is a work force working like a son of a gun,' Tompkins said. 'There is no doubt, the faculty really responded, and you will see the results in October.' Districts and Title 1 schools are placed on improvement when for two consecutive years they do not meet the adequate yearly progress (AYP) criteria established by the state."
"South Park Elementary School in Merriam was on improvement for five years but made adequate yearly progress in 2002-03 and 2003-04. Schools must make AYP for two consecutive years to be removed from the improvement status. 'We're celebrating,' South Park Principal Karen Metz said Wednesday. 'We were locked into a commitment between written curriculum, taught curriculum and tested curriculum. We know we have to be teaching what we're supposed to be teaching and making sure that's what we're assessing.'"
" 'It took a concerted effort from the teachers,' Metz said. 'I credit the children, too, because they met the challenge. The parents also had to make a commitment to transportation since it involved tutoring before and after school.'
"Federal Title I funds were used to extend training for teachers both in-district and out-of-district. Five students took advantage of the opportunity to transfer to other schools.
" 'We fine-tuned delivery of the district curriculum and were allowed to purchase supplies and materials to tailor educational programs to the needs of different students,' said Metz, who has been principal of South Park for two years."
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