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Lake Fenton, Fenton Score Well on AYP, Have Room for Improvement

Fenton High School falls short of Adequate Yearly Progress, while Lake Fenton High School receives a "B."

Both and scored well on their annual report cards given out by the Michigan Department of Education Monday.

However, both districts also had places they could improve.

did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress because of shortfalls with two different groups of students. Fenton High School did not meet AYP with economically disadvantaged students in math participation. They did also not meet standards with students with disabilities in math and English and language arts participation.

To make AYP, a school must test 95 percent of its students in total and in each required student demographic group defined by the federal law. The school also must attain the target achievement goal in English language arts and mathematics, or reduce the percentage of students in the non-proficient category of achievement by 10 percent.

Fenton High School principal Mark Suchowski was not immediately available to return phone messages.

along with North Road, State Road and Tomek-Eastern Elementary Schools all received an “A” accreditation grade on their “report card.”

In the Lake Fenton district, Lake Fenton Middle School, Torrey Hill Intermediate School and West Shore Elementary School all received an “A,” while received a “B” grade.

Lake Fenton superintendent Wayne Wright was not immediately available for comment.

Overall Michigan schools saw a 7.1 percentage point decrease in students making AYP, dropping from 86 percent of schools in 2009-2010 to 79 percent in 2010-2011.

Michigan high school students showed significant declines in the percentage of high schools making AYP, going from 81.9% last year to 60% this year.

Jan Ellis, spokeswoman for the MDE, suggested the drop is the result of increasing proficiency target amid growing academic expectations. She said every time the state increases the target by 10 or 12 points, especially in math, there tends to be a group of students on the cusp, that when the scores increase, they just don't make it.

She said the math targets, for instance, had not increased for three years in a row, giving some students a chance to start to catch up, then they jumped significantly this past year, which put students behind again.

"We are raising the bar on what they need to know, to also raise AYP simultaneously is very, very difficult," she said.

Ellis said the state is awaiting word on whether the federal government will give Michigan a waiver on meeting proficiency targets in the next 10 years as it works on boosting overall academic performance.

She said that will allow the state to balance yearly progress with the increase in rigor in schools in Michigan are facing as the state adopts Common Core Standards.

"We want to raise the rigor of what students know, rather than lower the bar," she said.

Common Core Standards, essentially means setting specific goals for what students need to know in each subject. For instance, what exactly students should know in each grade/subject to have a clear understanding of it.

This, Ellis said, will better prepare students for college and career paths, make them reading to take the national assessment test, boost ACT scores and give a better understanding of what they are being taught.

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