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AYP must be met

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Eight of Brunswick County’s 19 schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress goals, according to the latest information released last week.

Belville Elementary School, Bolivia Elementary School, Early College High School, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, North Brunswick High School, South Brunswick High School, Southport Elementary School, Town Creek Elementary School, Union Elementary School and Waccamaw School met 100 percent of their target goals.

Brunswick County Academy, Cedar Grove Middle School, Leland Middle School, Shallotte Middle School, South Brunswick Middle School, Supply Elementary School, Virginia Williamson Elementary School and West Brunswick High School did not make AYP.

Most disappointing among these results is that none of the district’s four middle schools made total goals.

Whether you agree with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) guidelines or not, the cold, hard truth is all schools are expected to meet their set number of target goals. Individual schools, together with the assistance of the Brunswick County Board of Education, must find a way to achieve the standards set for them.

Each student in this district deserves to be at a high-performing school. Administrators and teachers must continue to evaluate processes to reach those standards.

That being said, it’s hard not to take issue with the NCLB measurements. Even if a lot of progress is made at a school, if one subgroup misses one goal, then a school fails overall. A school successfully achieving other local, regional and state standards, may find itself failing to hit the national mark.

There are gaps in NCLB that must be addressed, and the sooner that happens on the federal level, the better our local schools will be.

And most disappointing is, in this push to have subgroups achieve, individual students are getting lost.

Successful school districts are going to have to find a way to evaluate student performance on an individual, case-by-case basis. Schools that produce young people who will be able to achieve in life after school must find ways to measure and grow expectations for each and every child.

In the meantime, the board of education must focus on the standards and goals that have been set for them and spend less time debating things such as “opt in” or “opt out” policies for mandated sexual education programs.

There are students moving through Brunswick County schools who can’t read. Too many are dropping out.

Hopefully, with a new superintendent at the helm, the district will be more focused on individual student achievement. When we see each individual child doing well, we can be confident individual schools and the district will follow suit