Statement issued Tuesday:
Nearly 85 percent of the Fort Wayne Community Schools buildings reached the top three categories this year under Indiana's accountability system, and half made Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind, the federal accountability law.
Forty-two schools reached Exemplary, Commendable or Academic Progress status under Indiana's Public Law 221, up from just six that were placed in those categories in 2009.
Nine schools – Bunche Montessori and Whitney Young early childhood centers, as well as Brentwood, Croninger, Franke Park, Harris, Saint Joseph Central, Study and Washington elementary schools – were designated Exemplary, the highest category in the state's system. Irwin Elementary earned
Commendable status, and 32 more schools, as well as Fort Wayne Community Schools as a district, were placed in Academic Progress. Twenty-five schools made AYP, as did the District.
"Our improvement on the spring ISTEP+ exam led to the increased number of schools reaching the highest state designations," Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. "It took a lot of hard work to get schools here, and there is still more work to be done. We are pleased with the number of schools moving up in the rankings and expect that trend to continue with reforms put in place this year."
Public Law 221 determines a school's rating based on how students perform on ISTEP+ as well as how much a school improved from one year to the next. The measurement is also tied to a school's performance under No Child Left Behind. Regardless of how much improvement a school made under PL221, a school can place no higher than Academic Progress if it does not make Adequate Yearly Progress.
If the AYP cap had not been in place, FWCS would have had 35 Exemplary schools, four Commendable schools and three schools in Academic Progress.
"Our schools have shown they can be successful when given the right tools and support systems," Dr. Robinson said. "We will keep working to improve as we educate all students to high standards."
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