Wednesday, August 4, 2004

18 N.Ky. schools fall short

Some state goals not met

By Karen Gutierrez
Enquirer staff writer

School results: No child left behind (PDF file)
Eighteen of the 82 public schools in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties failed to meet certain goals under the No Child Left Behind Act, state officials said Tuesday.

Two must offer students the option of transferring. They are Fourth Street Elementary in Newport and John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington.

Within days, parents there can expect letters explaining the situation. School starts Aug. 17 in Newport and Aug. 18 in Covington.

State officials cautioned that Tuesday's findings are preliminary and might change this fall.

Under No Child Left Behind, public schools are judged on annual math and reading tests. Each state devises its own test, and Kentucky's version, known as the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System, includes multiple-choice and short-answer questions.

To meet the deadline for informing parents, Kentucky this week released only multiple-choice results. That's why scores could change.

Based on initial findings, the Newport School District as a whole met its goals under No Child Left Behind.

Fourth Street Elementary fell short only because several dozen, disabled fourth-graders did not do well enough in reading.

To boost all students, Fourth Street this year will get a full-time guidance counselor and a professional reading consultant. Extra instruction will be offered to targeted students at 7 a.m., an hour before school starts.

Parents can still choose to transfer, but "if they will come and talk to us, we feel like we can at least get them to reconsider," said Pam Rye, Newport's curriculum director.

In Covington, serious problems continue at Two Rivers Middle and Holmes Junior Senior High, test results showed. But the district's elementaries are steadily improving, with most meeting their goals.

John G. Carlisle made big gains this year. In 2003, for instance, only 4 percent of African-American students were "proficient" in math, compared with 23 percent in 2004.

Carlisle must offer transfers because of a quirk in Kentucky's adoption of No Child Left Behind.

Besides reading and math scores, the state judges schools based on overall improvement on CATS. That measure lags a year behind. So Carlisle got dinged because its CATS scores didn't improve enough from 2002 to 2003.


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