0
Votes

Loudoun Fails to Meet Targets

English exam scores for Loudoun's low-income and immigrant students lag behind Virginia's average.

The Loudoun County school system did not meet its goals under the federal No Child Left Behind law during the 2004-2005 school year, according to preliminary Standards of Learning test results released Tuesday.

English exam scores for the Loudoun's low-income and limited English proficiency (LEP) students fell short of the law's goals, which require a 65 percent pass rate for all students on the English SOL test and a 63 percent pass rate for all students on the math SOL test.

One out of every three of the county's poor students failed the English exam, while only 43 percent of the LEP — or immigrant — students failed the test.

The school system's English exam performance for its poor and immigrant students lagged well behind the state average of 69 percent pass rates for poor students and 70 percent for immigrant students.

Apart from the two missed targets, Loudoun's school system met all other goals under the federal law — which requires schools to make adequate yearly progress until 2013-2014, when 100 percent of students will be required to pass the tests.

"We're pleased that, overall, we're higher than the state average," said Wayde Byard, the school system's spokesman. "More of our schools made it this year than last year."

Only four of the county's 62 schools did not meet the benchmarks set under No Child Left Behind. That marks an improvement over the 2003-2004 school year, in which 54 out of 59 schools did not meet their targets for math and English.

"We're headed in the right direction," said Sharon Ackerman, the LCPS assistant superintendent for instruction in a statement. "I feel good because more schools made AYP during a year in which we added three schools and because the expectations and the pass rates were increased."

The four schools that did not meet their goals under No Child Left Behind were:

* Dominion High School in Sterling, which fell short of its objectives on the math exam for black students.

* Harmony Intermediate School in Hamilton, which missed its goals on the English test for special-education students.

* Sterling Middle School, because too few LEP students passed the math test and too few poor students passed the English test.

* Sugarland Run Elementary School, which missed its goals for LEP and poor students on the English exams.

Despite missing the targets, all four schools made improvements over the previous year. None of Loudoun's schools were sanctioned under the federal law.