The following articles, from the Ottumwa [Iowa] Courier (8-22) and Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel (8-22), illustrate the positive measures many schools are taking to ensure that no child is left behind:
"Test scores have improved in almost every area: but the [Ottumwa] school district still wants to make improvements in student achievement….
"Monday night, school board members met with the community advisory committee…. Last year, those advisors came up with six strategies to improve student achievement. All were approved by the school board. This year's recommendations are to continue with the same priorities outlined last year….
"The good news, [said committee member Tracey Boxx-Vass], was that the strategies [implemented last year] were having an impact. The strategies include: emphasizing quality teaching, implementing scientifically researched instruction, using data to make decisions, creating engaging class environments, providing communication and finally, monitoring as well as seeking out funding for early childhood programs….
"Scores [in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills] have improved in math in [grades 4, 8 and 11] over the past year. In reading, 11th grade special education students slipped by one tenth of a point. All other grades and subgroups improved….
"Curriculum Director Sue Meadows said that expectations have changed. In the ‘old days’ student performance seemed to work on a bell curve — a few students at the very bottom, a few students at the very top, and everyone else somewhere in the middle. These days, she said, educators are trying to work on something that looks more like a mountain, with ‘universal proficiency.’"
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