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West Chester School District Fails AYP

The West Chester Area School District fails to make "Adequate Yearly Progress" on the PSSAs for the 2011-12 school year.

The West Chester School District failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, on its PSSA tests for the 2011-12 school year.

The state uses AYP as a benchmark for districts as the federal government mandates under No Child Left Behind that every student in the district must be at proficient or better by 2014.

"The idea behind AYP is that schools need to have 100 percent of all students proficient, which is about the equivalent of a 'C' grade, or better by 2014," said district Director of Communications Robert Partridge.

Partridge added, "As we get closer to that 100 percent number, we're going to see even traditionally high-performing school districts fail across the state.  We have one grade grade level in the district currently at 97 percent, but the subsets make the 100 percent target unreachable."

Not only must school districts meet a baseline to qualify for AYP, but certain demographics within the student population must also hit specific goals.

Also, an entire district fails AYP even if one school misses one of its targets.  For example, Stetson Middle School made 24 of its 25 AYP goals, but because it missed one goal the entire school gets marked down as a failure.

As a whole, 13 of the 16 schools in the West Chester district made their AYP goals, and the district met 221 of it's 228 total goals.

The three schools that failed to make AYP were Stetson Middle School, Peirce Middle School and East High School.

Despite missing AYP, the West Chester school district is among one of the highest performing districts in the state. 

Out of nearly 500 school districts in the state, West Chester ranked 52 in math and 19 in reading for the number of students that qualified as advanced on the PSSAs for the 2011-12 school year.

That puts the district in the top six percent in the state for math and the top four percent in reading.

Still, the district received a warning from the state for not making AYP.

"It puts our federal and state funding at risk," Partridge said.  "But in some cases there was nothing the district could do."

Partridge said that one of the metrics the state uses for AYP is graduation rate.  The district must have a certain percentage of the student body graduate in four years.

Partiridge added that this includes special education students.

According to Partridge, the state asks that all students graduate in four years, but some special education students have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that state a student can take five years to graduate.

The district must honor the IEP.

"The West Chester Area School District was in the top 10 percent in every category," Partridge said.  "And we got an AYP warning despite that."

To browse the state's AYP report card for the entire district please click on the link: here.

Robin Kaliner October 05, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Star, I just love when you comment because it gives people a good perspective on the ignorance and hatred of the Tea Party Zealots. The oh so cute little pet names, the attempt to classify me as a union loving Democrat when I am neither, and the extremest rhetoric...yet not a single fact or insight. Keep it up, you make a great case for pushing the Tea Party out and returning Chester County to the reasonable Republicans who used to run things here.
Star Thrower October 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Twisted Sister - twist away all you like, you are a teachers union shill, plain and simple .. and I care not what any person states with which their party affiliation may lie. The two party system that made the country great, is long gone, perverted into a single two headed hydra, and threatening to at least quadruple, possibly in 2013. Other than lifesaving occupations I despise any group that can not exist without property tax help, especially the teachers union's which have driven our country's economy into collapse mode with their badly mistaken opinionated self-worth and relentless quest for a seven figure nest egg. there is no personal animosity coming from me, simply truth, spoken in a manner that is convenient (for me) in dealing with a horde of "Hate-Card-Queens"
edufan October 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM
We have a successful PUBLIC School District in spite of the ridiculous NCLB act, which has been seriously flawed since its inception. Teachers in the WCASD work very hard to ensure a quality education for our students. The rantings and name calling of some people who proudly exclaimed that they never sent to public school only reinforces my belief that a public education is the way to go! SO Thrower, go ahead and slam me with your hate. As a taxpayer, you have the right to go visit the schools and see for yourself the wonderful things going on. If fact, please come to my classroom. You just might learn a something of value..
Star Thrower October 06, 2012 at 08:25 PM
First of all - when you respond to me trying to pass yourself off as a qualified teacher .. before you click the submit button, read your comment at least twice to make sure all the words are spelled correctly, otherwise I will continue to think you are some kind of raving "wannabee" educator who's desperately trying out to become a prospect in the "Hate-Card-Queen" club. Any wonderful things going on in a failed school district classroom are of no interest whatsoever to me .. for that matter anything at all going on in ANY public school classroom ANYWHERE, is of no interest to me, unless it confirms the growing belief that union teachers refuse to share the pain of those who suffer to pay their "pound of flesh" demands Referring back to a previous comment ... the extreme highly inflated self-worth of unionist teachers is the primary reasoning behind AYP in the first place. <b><s>TAGS</s></b>
Cathy Binder October 06, 2012 at 09:16 PM
The entire AYP mess is a joke in terms of measuring anything. Anyone who has every analyzed a statistic and took even a moment to look at the numbers at the links posted through the Department of Education can see what a disaster and flawed measure this is. Based on my evaluation, and I do this for a living, in some cases what caused some schools to fall short of a measure in narrow categories may have been only a few students. Now, we can say that is unacceptable. But to think that 100% of any group of students will be proficient in all areas is silly on the face of it. What is also notable is that the areas where a school may not have made a mark are in those groups that traditionally are problematic in many districts - low socioeconomic, English Language Learners, Special Education. Gee, wonder why. Multiple studies would tell us the issues there. What those figures would be instrumental in would be for a school to look at why those few students had a problem, not to condemn an entire school or an entire district. The real joke to me is that a law that states some students with special needs must LEGALLY be given more time to graduate is held against a district. Now that is truly funny if it was not so pathetic.
Star Thrower October 07, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Binder .. show proof that what you term as "Your Evaluation" has even a sliver of credibility, or it's a lie - what I see from you here is nothing short of the interchangeable rhetoric of the Hate-Card-Queen-Horde - your district has finished at the bottom of every nationwide (level playing field) competition for the last two years .. while unionists have all cried "unfair judging" even as you knew the rules going in, yet you continued in all your misguided, inflated, self-worth. Bad enough to even enter those nationwide competitions, that you now claim were skewed against you, but to then post congratulations to yourselves in all the local newspapers as finishing in the Americas Best Schools contest, is only more feeble attempts to scam the taxpayers and the mindless groupies of WC Vote. Just as I predicted, here you are in all your biased, boastful, binder-blather, trying to justify FAILURE once again .. however, just like you love to claim the pension shortfall acts are the law, and must be followed (no matter that you all admit collusion with corrupt legislators in passing those laws), the AYP report is a reminder of another law which also must be followed, and a report that must be introduced into the current salary negotiations. This comment is a reminder that the teachers union, essentially, is a pile of counterfeit money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.
Cathy Binder October 07, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Oh stop. Go to the department of Ed website, get out a calculator and do some basic math. Any half intelligent adult could. Now, instead of calling people liars and names and asking them to prove - I am not sure what because they don't agree with your stands do some real fact checking. Analysis of data is required. I believe the AYP system is a flawed one. But since we have it let's analyze how it is done. It is a bogus measure by all qualitative analysis. Like it or not, believe me or not, I spend my day doing this kind of work. You don't have to believe me, in this case simple analysis of pretty straightforward data and some pretty basic abilities to analyze statistics will tell the story. And what of the vast majority of children scoring well into the 90% range, and the vast majority of benchmarks met and the fact that we have myriads of students testing in the advanced range in WCASD than any other categories? Oh, they don't count - but the two or three that didn't meet a arbitrary number - are the only ones that do? Yes, we know you hate teachers despite your statements to the contrary. Facts are of no matter because you profess to have the vast conspiracy figured out. Prove that one. Oh yeah, right - you can't. Just because you foster your own delusions do not make them truth.
Star Thrower October 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM
binder, the FACT that Hate-Card-Queens are addicted to being hated does not mean everyone hates them, but by all means blather away .. the fact is that because of teacher failure nationwide, our school rankings world-wide have fallen to 25th out of the top 50 countries.. nice also to see you finally admit you are indeed a member of the Liars Union .. I suspected as much .. matter of fact I doubt there are any members of WC Vote who are not either union members, or in bed with union money. http://tinyurl.com/c6v4hlm Because U.S School rankings world wide went through the floor, AYT was created, and is expected to raise the bar each year, it's not another conspiracy binder .. and the simple FACT that some districts keep up with the raised bar while your district has FAILED, verifies teacher incompetence in the WCASD - nothing can be more straightforward. What we need is a fresh approach by downsizing salaries for the downhill teachers with 15 years or more service (as do the more progressive foreign schools who are currently way ahead of the USA), do this until the Cybers take over completely in 2013 - for me PITY is the watchword .. not hate.
WC Parent October 09, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Star thrower - check your own grammar, e.g. "Union's"?
Star Thrower October 09, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Oh boy, another pathetic mental case trying to pretend that it's not a teacher .. where did I even mention the word grammar? - more to the point .. I am not trying to pass my self off as an educator/abuser of children, just a taxpayer who has been financially victimized by union teachers - I don't have to prove proficiency in grammar, or spelling, but I do pay good money for competent teachers to demonstrate their ability to verbally communicate, without being in such a rush to validate their glaring incompetence that they do not even bother to re-read what they are trying to communicate. We have had 4 (that I know of) teachers, and 1 additional swimming coach (school employee) in the immediate area that have been arrested in the past month, for student sexual abuse, and right here on this thread we have a conspiracy of dunces who would like to make some kind of point about an errant apostrophe, or else whine about being overpaid to follow the law and do their job?
Country1st October 11, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Points taken. Thanks Robin.
proud_teacher October 11, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Star Thrower, do you have a life? It seems like you have nothing better to do than sit at home on your computer and criticize the teachers who sacrifice their time to educate the future of this community, and country. I'm proud to say I'm a teacher in the community, and it's obvious you have NO idea what you are talking about. I have never had anyone insult what I do as much as you. You and your comments are sick, twisted, and delusional. Didn't you ever have a teacher who inspired you, or a teacher who you looked up to? We make a difference in these kids lives, whether you want to admit it or not... and nothing you say can change that. And now you want to blame WC's budget problems on the teachers? HA! Why don't you blame them on Tom Corbett, he's the one who cut funding to public education. I know you Tea Partier's are anti-public education because nothing in life should ever be FREE! But seriously, grow up...and take an economics class while you're at it. Show some support for your community and schools, instead of constantly beating them down! PS...I have a second job that I work 3 days a week AFTER I teach a full day of school. And in June, when you think I'm done "working", I start my other job so I can pay my mortgage and take care of other bills over the summer. You might think I have some great salary, and that I take advantage of the taxpayer dollars... but I don't. Get your facts straight before you accuse all of us of being "union thugs".
Country1st October 11, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I just got back from a PTO meeting at Peirce Middle School, primarily to hear the principal, Jeff Ulmer, talk about the reason for the 'warning' for Peirce since it didn't meet its AYP. We've had children at PMS for the past 2 years and have been impressed by the leadership of Jeff Ulmer, the great majority of the teachers and the school's overall culture. Our children have thrived there. So I was alarmed to hear about the AYP "Warning." What I learned tonight is that Peirce Middle School is #1 in Reading in the County. Also, Peirce's PSSA scores are very good -- in the 80+% percentile for Proficient/ Advanced in Math, Science and Writing. There is a small subset of students -- where English is not their primary language -- who's 'progress' has been insufficient and led to the 'warning.' Mr. Ulmer explained that the teachers and the administrators are working very hard with this group of students and are also open to parent volunteers to help in that process. The community -- regardless if you have children in the public schools -- should continue to support Peirce and its administrators and teachers. As someone pointed out, a healthy school district helps our property values. More importantly, it helps all of our kids!
Cathy Binder October 11, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Right you are K McDonald. We talk about a very small subset of students here. Non-English speakers are required to take the test after they have been in the country for a year. Yet, all research states that it takes up to seven years to acquire the skills to be skilled in ACADEMIC language. So, this is a challenging group depending on who is tested and how long they have been in the country. And of course if you don't have 40 students in the cohort, the category does not even count for AYP!!! Talk about a system. My point is that a school with less than 40 kids in a category could have them all fail and it would not be counted at all. And this is what we use to say schools are making it or not? So in the end, the more diverse and challenging your population, the more likely you may not meet AYP. And as you said K. McDonald Peirce is a very high performing school. I am sure they have been working with these English language learners all along, but language acquisition does not happen in a couple of months. It is interesting what you learn by going to the Department of ED website and doing just a little bit of research online on how AYP is calculated. I find it very disturbing, not so much for the information it may provide a school, but for how we use it to label schools. No validity in the big picture.
Cathy Binder October 11, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Oh and before our favorite online friend starts again - I am not a teacher, just an avid supporter of public education with kids in the system. It may be time to realize sir that just because people support our schools they don't have to be educators. I would venture to say that many parents do support WCASD and from what I gather are very happy with the education overall their kids receive - perfect - no, but what is.
Country1st October 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I also think that the headline was a bit severe and misleading. Not meeting AYP goal does not make Peirce a failure.
Country1st October 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM
As we all approach the November election, all of us should consider how our vote influences our public schools -- both locally, state, and nationally. - if you don't like Leave No Child Behind, which was largest federally mandated program in Education in our history, instituted during the W. Bush administration, and how it leads to weeks of testing instead of educating our kids and parameters that are beyond our control yet influence the funding of our schools; - if you don't like that Gov. Corbett has already defunded our public schools and universities to the tune of nearly a half of million dollars - if you don't like a Republican School Board that has let over 20 teachers go in the WCASD leading to teachers teaching at multiple schools and less time to help students in either school - if you feel a thriving public school system influences our local property values and economy; Then remember that when you vote this November.
Star Thrower October 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
proud_teacher .. You happen to be nothing but a screen name, just like me .. am I supposed to believe what you write? Do you believe what I write? Opinions are fine, anything else needs proof ... no proof = it's a lie. if you can not exist on your salary, you either chose the wrong profession, have too many dependents, or any one of a vast number of possible disabling faults in your upbringing .. I really don't care about your excuses for the whining about your life, or the whining about your failed district - taxpayers have heard it all and are refusing to go any further with your excuses for bleeding them to death - As far as your whining Corbett complaint, I will tell you what I wrote to McDonald .. blame your liberal president, not your conservative governor .. it was the Obama stimulus dollars that you lost .. which were only a temporary solution to the horrendous deficit public service unions created in the country. Lastly, I try to think of this as sort of my second job, unlike yourself however, I don't get any pay for it .. I consider it my contribution in the private sector fight to end the West Chester Area Blood Extraction Society, and bring much needed relief to the taxpayers ... you can go get the whole union on this thread to attempt to bully and intimidate me .. it will never work.
Star Thrower October 11, 2012 at 05:41 PM
To McDonald & any other mindless sheeple who never thought for themselves & can be swayed by a smooth talking propagandist; liberal unionists desperately need the immigrants in your schools to feather your salary & benefit packages .. then you cry to the high heavens when you don't have the intelligence to bring them up to the current AYP raised bar ... as I said before, no matter how much the union cries about funding - blame your liberal president, not your conservative governor .. it was the Obama stimulus dollars that you lost .. which were a temporary solution to the horrendous deficit public service unions created in the country.
Star Thrower October 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
County - Chester District - WCASD School - EN Pierce MS Name - Jeffrey Ulmer School Year - 2010-11 Job Assignment - Middle School Principal Total Salary - $119,712 FT/PT % - F / 100 (out of 100) Years of Service - 15 Years in District - 15 Degree - Master's Degree Category - Administrative/Supervisory This information is available (on every school), to the public at DataUniverse Asbury Park Press Here you have someone whose Master's Degree was paid by taxpayers, most likely at some online diploma factory, that anyone with a high 2 digit IQ could easily obtain - the same private sector taxpayer is probably mortgaging his own future to pay off his loan, while making half the salary, or less. OK, discuss among yourselves .. I will try to check back later .. or tomorrow.
Cathy Binder October 11, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Jealous? I hate to tell you but most middle level managers make at least that plus bonus and multiple perks. You are very out of touch with the business sector if you are trying to make some inference about his compensation level. Do you know where his degree is from - no - so what is the inference you are making there? I am having a hard time seeing anything of factual relevance. . Now, from what I have gleaned from reading the DLN this week you are in hot water for your rather nasty commentary about others . Maybe its time to realize that the continual rants and nasty commentary here may cause some to think its time to put a stop to it here as well.
edufan October 12, 2012 at 09:47 AM
Hey, Star Thrower: Thank you for your epilogues! You are a wonderful example of how right-wing tea party extremists think! Keep up the good work.
RoxyD October 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Star Thrower doesn't even live in West Chester. She is just trying to get hits on her website. Don't waste your time because she's not rational. Ignore her!
Star Thrower October 12, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Ha ha ha ... I see that I have been keeping everyone obsessed with what they think I am doing - however everyone forgot to comment on the stupidity of your proud teachers who didn't know it was Obama who took away your funding, not Corbutt.
Country1st October 12, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I always find it amusing those who are uncivilized and yet are too afraid to use their name.
Country1st October 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Try googling "Gov Corbett's cuts to public education." - basic education subsidy reduced - $550million - Accountability Block Grants eliminated (- $260million) - charter school reimbursements to districts eliminated (-$22million) - Special ed flat funded while special ed needs increasing - school improvement grants eliminated (- $11million) Education is actually a really good thing. And we shouldn't be asking our kids to pay for tax cuts for oil/fracking companies Our forefathers gave us a great public education and we owe that to our future generations. And hating President Obama isn't going to help educate our children. And hating President Obama to the extent that you clearly do -- is only going to make you sick. Good luck to you.
edufan October 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM
What, you don't like Governor Corbett either or are you unaware that you spelled his name incorrectly. To quote YOU: 'before you click the submit button, read your comment at least twice to make sure all the words are spelled correctly, otherwise I will continue to think you are some kind of raving "wannabee" ' Have the guts to reveal who you really are, and stop being a bullying coward.
Star Thrower October 14, 2012 at 03:27 AM
edufan, I have always despised "corbutt" for continuing to allow hydraulic fracturing to take place - in case you had not noticed, the "U" key is too far away from the "E" key to make that mistake. However, I realize that I am your idol now, so go right ahead and continue to use my quotes whenever you are not feeling secure enough to think for yourself.
edufan October 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Oh, s.t., again, you spew nonsense and again you do not have the courage to reveal your real name or your "occupation"! Why? What do you have to hide? NOTHING, except that you are a classic example of a coward and a bully.
Kevin Brode May 08, 2013 at 06:37 PM
This ninja aka star thrower is awesome. He or she needs to keep this up. Very entertaining. Good job star man. I will definitely come back to read this stuff.

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