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October 08, 2004 Extra Credit
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October 8, 2004

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South Dakota: 137 Schools Honored For Meeting State Reading and Math Standards

No Child Left Behind requires states to provide state academic achievement awards to schools that close achievement gaps between groups of students or that exceed academic achievement goals. States may also use Title I funds to financially reward teachers in schools that receive academic achievement awards. In addition, states must designate as distinguished schools those that have made the greatest gains in closing the achievement gap or in exceeding achievement goals. The following are excerpts from an article in yesterday's Argus Leader (SD) that highlight South Dakota's distinguished schools:

"In South Dakota, 137 schools have been named Distinguished Schools for meeting yearly progress goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The schools all met their progress goals two years in a row and had at least 80 percent of students scoring at the proficient or advanced levels on the state test.

"In Emery, students and the entire community are celebrating, said Christena Schultz, principal. Ninety-one percent of the students are proficient, she said.

"'Yesterday, we had a huge test celebration,' Schultz said. 'We did that to tell our students, 'Good job.' It's very important that kids understand their success and how important it is with No Child Left Behind.'

"Even though the school district staff is proud to have one of the top-performing schools in the state, educators still are looking for improvements, Schultz said. 'We're just trying to figure out what it is we do well and what we can do better,' she said."

"Of the 137 schools, 16 will receive between $5,000 and $15,000 because a high percentage of the students live in poverty."

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Last Modified: 04/09/2008