Alabama schools receive waiver to freeze AYP scores - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Alabama schools receive waiver to freeze AYP scores

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) -

Alabama schools will have an easier time making the grade this year. The state has been granted a waiver from the federal government that will make it easier for your child's school to get a passing grade under the No Child Left Behind Act.

We are a little more than a month away from the annual release of adequate yearly progress scores, or AYP. That is the federal government's way of measuring how each school and school system is doing compared to a scoring system that was put in place with No Child Left Behind.

Lots of state and school leaders have been complaining for years that the AYP numbers can be deceiving because the number to get a passing score goes up every year. So, even if you did just as well this year as last year, you might actually fail in this grading system because you did not improve enough. Several school systems have also had problems with this because if you get a passing grade in every category except for 1, you still fail.

Alabama's superintendent just announced the federal government will let Alabama schools use the same scoring system from last year for the next 2 years, meaning that hurdle does not get any higher and the state has time to try and come up with a system that measures growth of students.

"That really is what we're hoping for," said Malissa Valdes-Hubert, spokesperson for the Alabama Dept. of Education. "We want to see a growth of learning each year as the child progresses through the public school system, and that is what (state superintendent) Dr. Bice's goal is. To see growth, not to meet an unrealistic goal that not all children are going to meet."

Dr. Bice has a team that has been working for over a year on a new scoring system they hope will more accurately show how your school system is doing, and he will have a report ready for the state school board on that later this month.

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