Both the Bristol Borough and Bristol Township school districts received warnings from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (DOE) after the districts did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals.
District and school performance on statewide math and reading PSSA assessments, taken by students in elementary through high school, is the primary factor in determining AYP, which is federally mandated under 2001’s No Child Left Behind act. Science and writing PSSA results are not counted toward AYP.
“The AYP student performance target for the 2011-12 school year was 78 percent for math and 81 percent for reading, compared to 67 percent and 72 percent, respectively, in 2010-11,” the DOE noted in a release.
Bristol Borough School District
The small borough school district did not meet AYP and lacked in academic performance, according to the DOE.
The DOE reported that reading performance scores in Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12 did not meet the AYP of 81 percent.
Aside from those PSSA-takers in high school, data showed that students in the lower-grade levels did not reach the AYP goal of 78 percent for the math assessment.
Warren Snyder-John Girotti Elementary School received School Improvement II, which is given to schools that do not meet their AYP for three years in a row. As part of a corrective action plan, the school has to offer supplemental education services to students, according to the DOE.
Performance in the district did not improved enough over 2011 to enable the district to reach Safe Harbor status. In order to make Safe Harbor, schools must reduce the amount of students who performed below proficient by at least 10 percent since the previous year.
Bristol Township School District
The district, which serves roughly 6,200 students, was given a warning by the DOE for not meeting their AYP goals.
Truman High School failed to meet graduation goals and academic performance goals set by the DOE, data showed.
State education secretary, Ron Tomalis, said in a statement: “Many districts and schools did not make AYP due to new federal regulations that require high school graduation rates to be calculated using the four-year cohort graduation method.”
“Last year, Bristol Township School District sent nearly 90 percent of its graduating class on to post secondary education,” Superintendent Samuel Lee said in a statement defending the district's performance.
He added that students from the 2012 graduating class were accepted at “big-name colleges and offered in excess of $4 million in scholarships.”
Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, George Washington Elementary School and John Fitch Elementary School both received warnings from the DOE based on their failure to meet AYP.
Lafayette Elementary School received School Improvement I from the state. The rank means that for two years in a row students did not meet AYP.
Clara Barton Elementary School was able to meet its AYP goals. Last year, the school received a warning.
The rest of Bristol Township’s public schools made AYP in the 2012 PSSA tests.
Lee also noted in a statement that the district did not reach AYP for the first time in six years, in part, because of the fact that AYP goals had increased by nearly 14 percent. He also stated the district would “continue to revise and enrich our efforts and are confident that we have the programs and professionals in place to make district-wide AYP next year.”
To review PSSA scores and AYP results, visit the Department of Education website.
Statewide, 2012 PSSA scores declined from when test last were taken in spring of 2011.
Across the state, 75.7 percent of students made the math AYP and 71.9 percent of test-takers met AYP in the reading assessment, according to the DOE.
Tomalis credited the decline to a massive state-ordered investigation into PSSA irregularities that took place in 2011 across the state. The investigation revealed that some test sheets had been altered to increase student achievement rates.
The secretary also stated that increases in test security requirements and testing procedures are likely to have contributed to the decrease in performance.
The PSSA will next be taken by students in spring of 2013.