The good news that state Department of Education report cards don't reveal:



The good news that state Department of Education report cards don't reveal:
Although the district overall missed the 93 percent attendance-rate goal, 10 of its 21 schools did meet the goal and 19 showed higher rates than a year ago. Overall, the 92.1 percent district rate represented a 0.7 percent increase over last year.
Fourth-graders in three elementary schools met the required standard on all five proficiency tests; in three schools they met the standard on four tests; in three schools they met the standard on three; and in three they met the standard on two. But overall, the state report shows, fourth-graders failed to meet the standards.
Among fourth-graders taking the tests in fall 2002, 23.1 percent of regular pupils passed the reading test, compared with 15.8 percent in fall 2001.
In three middle schools, eighth-graders taking the ninth-grade test met the standard on four of five tests; in one building they met the standard on two.
Ninth-graders in one high school met the standard on five tests; in two buildings they met the standard on two tests. Tenth-graders in two buildings met the standard on four of five tests.
Each school has set its own targets for improvement; even if proficiency test standards are met by a specific school, targets are set at a higher level the next year.
Teachers can analyze specific data on each pupil to determine in which areas pupils need assistance.
The "achievement gap" between white and minority pupils has decreased. The gap has decreased in 10 of 20 proficiency test areas for blacks, in 12 of 20 areas for Hispanics and in nine of 15 areas reported for multiracial pupils.
In 2000-2001, there was a 24.8 percentage point difference between white and black pupils; in 2001-2002, there was a 16.1 point difference. The difference between Hispanics and whites dropped from 28.7 points to 10.3; the difference between multiracial pupils and whites dropped from 29.9 to 7.0 points.
Source: Tony Direnzo, executive director of schoolimprovement, Youngstown city schools

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