Tennent Faces Possible Restructuring; PDE Places Centennial on Warning
Centennial School District has been placed on warning status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) as not enough students at several of the district's schools have demonstrated grade-level proficiency on state-wide standardized tests.
The Education Committee of the Centennial School Board will hold a meeting to map out a plan for the district following a round of standardized test scores that didn’t make the grade.
Centennial School District did not achieve adequate yearly progress in 2011-12, according to recent PSSA results published on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website.
Worse yet, William Tennent High School was placed on Corrective Action 2 for a fourth year.
"There is no fifth year of 'Corrective Action 2'," said School Board Director Mark Miller at Monday evening's school board meeting.
"There are predators out there, including our own secretary of education, who would love to take control of our brand, spanking new high school if we don't escape this corrective action," he said.
The escape: making adequate yearly progress or AYP.
AYP is how the federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), measures the achievement of public schools across the nation.
In Pennsylvania, public school students in grades 3 through 8 as well as students in grade 11 take standardized reading and math tests known as the PSSA each spring.
Students then receive scores of below basic, basic, proficient or advanced based on the results of these standardized tests.
Every year the percentage of students expected to demonstrate proficiency grows. This growth will continue until 2014, when NCLB calls for 100 percent of students to test at a level of proficient or higher.
In 2011-12, Pennsylvania called for 78 percent of students in districts and schools to score proficient or above on the math test and 81 percent of students to score proficient or above in the reading assessment.
The AYP requirements are meant to measure whether schools or districts are making sufficient progress towards the year 2014 goal of 100 percent proficiency.
According to PDE, William Tennent High School, Klinger Middle School, Log College Middle School, Stackpole Elementary School and Willow Dale Elementary School did not make AYP for 2011-12.
The middle and elementary schools were placed on warning, as they had made AYP in the prior year. WTHS, however, has only made AYP twice since the inception of NCLB in 2001, once in 2010 and once in 2008.
For schools that receive federal Title I grant funds, a fourth year of corrective action status means that the district needs to begin to prepare a plan to restructure the school.
According to greatschools.org, the restructuring plan must include one of the following alternative governance arrangements:
- reopen the school as a public charter school
- replace all or most of the school staff, including the principal
- enter into a contract to have an outside entity operate the school
- arrange for the state to take over operation of the school
- or any other major restructuring of the school's governance arrangement.
According to the parameters of NCLB, if a school that receives Title I funding lapses into a fifth year of corrective action 2 status, the school would be required to implement the previously agreed upon restructuring plan.
The statute does not define the consequences of the fifth year of corrective action for a non-Title I school.
The Centennial School Board's Education Committee will meet to discuss the results of the 2011-12 PSSA exams and map out a plan of action for the district and the high school Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room of the administration building.