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Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
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Only 5 schools in Windham County attain federal standard

73 percent of Vermont schools fail to meet No Child Left Behind Act targets

Commons News Editor Randolph T. Holhut contributed to this report.

—Seventy-three percent of Vermont public schools — including Windham County’s four high schools and nearly half of its elementary schools — failed to meet targets set under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).NCLB requires states to set “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) requirements for schools. The scores in Vermont are primarily based on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), which gauges math and reading skills.The Department of Education released the testing results last week, showing that only 81 schools had made “adequate progress” in 2013.In Windham County, the smallest elementary schools made their AYP: Dover, Dummerston, Flood Brook in Londonderry, Halifax, Jamaica, and Wardsboro.Of the 214 schools that didn’t hit the benchmarks, 21 were new. First-timers on the list included Marlboro Elementary and Townshend Elementary.Other schools in the county that did not make AYP included Brattleboro Union High School, Brattleboro Area Middle School, Brattleboro’s three elementary schools, the Brookline/Newfane and Athens/Grafton joint elementary schools, Bellows Falls Middle School, Bellows Falls Union High School, Central Elementary in Bellows Falls, Deerfield Valley Elementary in Wilmington, Guilford, Leland & Gray Middle and High School in Townshend, Putney, Vernon, Westminster elementary schools, and Twin Valley High School in Wilmington.Armando Vilaseca, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Education, said more than half of the schools met the reading targets, but math scores lagged. Scores among low-income students on the free or reduced lunch program were also low, according to Vilaseca.In a statement, Vilaseca said, “We feel it’s important to celebrate the good work that the schools are doing, but also to recognize that we need to figure out how to close these achievement gaps.”Starting in 2015, the state will use a different test to assess schools’ progress, transitioning from NECAP to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, which is also being adopted in 28 other states.Complete test data are posted at http://bit.ly/19gVS67.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #216 (Wednesday, August 14, 2013).

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