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October 21, 2004 Extra Credit
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October 21, 2004

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October 20
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"You Have Met Your Reading Goal"

The following are excerpts from an article in The York Dispatch (PA) highlighting five York City elementary schools that received financial rewards for improving under No Child Left Behind:

"Five York City elementary schools were awarded a total of $90,000 in government funds for improvements in meeting state goals on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests. During last night's school board meeting, students and teachers also showed off banners, marking their achievements. ‘The school banners will be put somewhere where the kids can see them and be proud of them,’ said Debi Beshore, the district's spokeswoman. ‘The banners say, 'You have met your reading goal,' or 'You have met your math goals.'’ Banners are being posted at Phineas Davis, Devers, Ferguson, Alexander D. Goode and Jackson elementary schools."

"Both Davis and Jackson were awarded $15,000, while Devers, Ferguson and Goode received $20,000 each. The schools are required to spend a minimum of 50 percent of the money for instructional purposes, up to 25 percent for incentive programs and 25 percent for building leadership team activities. … The district distributed the award money, which came from funding provided through [No Child Left Behind’s] Title One, a federal program designed to assist schools -- with a high rate of impoverished and disadvantaged students -- in meeting national reading and math skills standards."

"Proficient is the second highest of four levels. The highest is advanced and the lowest levels are basic and below basic, said Dennis Fry, the city district's director of learning and teaching. The five schools have either reached No Child Left Behind's current 45 percent standard for reading and 35 percent for math, or showed a marked improvement in scoring to keep them from being classified as ‘needs improvement.’ The schools are in the ‘making progress,’category, [Dennis Fry, York City School District Director of Learning and Teaching] said. The schools also succeeded in bringing a higher number of students up from the ‘basic’ and ‘below basic’ levels, he said. On average, 46 percent of the students in the five schools were deemed proficient or better in reading, while 54 percent were at least proficient in math."

"Under the new federal guidelines, the schools at the bottom of the PSSA scoring list are classified as ‘needs improvement-level-one.’ … Last year, all nine city schools were on the warning or level-one improvement lists. However, Davis, Devers, Ferguson, Goode and Jackson have improved enough to get off the lists and receive awards. ‘Now they'll have to continue working to maintain their achievements,’ Fry said. ‘We have a lot of work to do for all our schools, but we want to acknowledge that we have schools that are really making progress and meeting goals.’"

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013