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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

NH releases AYP results Every local school district fails to make adequate yearly progress

From the Eagle Tribune;

NH releases AYP results Every local school district fails to make adequate yearly progress
By Jarret Bencks

Every school district in the area has failed to make adequate yearly progress in either math or reading, or both, according to state data.

They aren't alone. A total of 261 public schools in the state have been labeled as "in need of improvement" by the state Department of Education. That's 28 more than last year.

Adequate yearly progress, commonly referred to as AYP, is a standard of improvement imposed by the federal government through the No Child Left Behind Act. It aims to improve standardized test scores to a point where 100 percent of students score proficient or better by 2014.

Schools and districts that don't reach improvement goals set by the state are labeled as not making adequate progress.

For districts that receive funding under Title 1 — which requires that at least 40 percent of the students enrolled are from low-income families — failing to meet adequate yearly progress can require them to provide additional services to their students, depending on how many consecutive years they fail to make progress. Services can include tutoring or added professional development.

In the past, each school required to provide such programs received $20,000 from the state to help fund them. But that won't happen this year, said Deb Wiswell of the Department of Education.

"This year, there is not enough money to do that," she said.

The department has yet to decide how it will pick which schools get that funding, Wiswell said.

Salem School District Superintendent Michael Delahanty said the progress results weren't an indication of how the district is performing as a whole. Two schools in Salem were newly added to the list of schools in need of improvement this year.

"I'm not going to defend the scores, they are what they are," he said, "but it is not a reflection of any kind of deficiency."

Students are divided into eight reading categories and nine math categories under the testing. If a district doesn't reach the improvement goals in any of the categories, it doesn't make yearly progress. Any school or district that fails to make progress two years in a row in either category is determined to be in need of improvement.

For many districts, failing to make improvements on scores from special education students has led to their failure.

"That makes it hard; it just doesn't make sense," said Mark Blount, assistant superintendent of schools in Londonderry. "I would much rather see a variety of measures used rather than just one single assessment measure."

Among local districts, only Salem and Windham managed to reach adequate progress as a district in either reading or math. They both made adequate progress in reading, according to the results.

AYP strives for 100 percent of students to test proficient or better by 2014, a standard administrators and state officials acknowledge is unreachable. Changes are likely on the way for nationwide standardized tests, as the federal government moves forward with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

"We have no idea where it's going," Wiswell said. "It's hard to know. We know it isn't going to go away."


Anonymous said...


The worse the results, the more we'll have to pay for the bad results.

MAcciard said...

Mr. LaSalle is the third highest paid Superintendent in the State of NH. His job costs this district almost $160,000/yr. in salary and benes.

What do we get for that?

Anonymous said...


And then there were two...... the bully rides again.

Well it appears there is a fresh controversy in our quiet, quaint little town, and it centers around the same person as always, and some of the same complaints. It seems that a resident has filed a conflict of interest petition against our saintly, selfless, humble, police chief, and the police chief as usual has labelled his antagonist as "having a vendetta" against him. This, of course, for those who are keeping count will be approximately the 47th resident to have a "vendetta" against Father Phil(sorry Mother Theresa was already taken).

But Wait! There is a twist in this saga, the conflict of interest committee, already one member short, had a meeting on Monday night evidently to talk about brooming this stupid, nettlesome complaint, and after that meeting TWO of the committee members RESIGNED! Yes folks, this complaint is so explosive that the chairman, and vice chairman of the committee resigned rather than have to decide this case. Hmmm, what could this be? It must be HUGE! Well the details of the complaint are, as yet, unknown, but it Is known that the person filing the complaint DID request that Jack Sapia, then vice chair of the committee, recuse himself from participating because he is ina lawsuit with the chief(again, for those who are counting, must be is approximately the 32nd lawsuit alleging improper behavior on the part of our chief). This was done in a simple short letter. To contrast this, Our resident Bully with a Badge sent the committee a letter that he had compiled a 32 page report on one of the committee members. Apparently he has been "investigating" this person and collected all the letters complaints, emails, and information that he could to paint this person as;...... YOU GUESSED IT.... "HAVING A VENDETTA AGAINST HIM"! WOO HOOO! ANOTHER ONE!

BUT WAIT! It GETS BETTER! This bullying, egomaniacal, paragon of victimhood couldn't be satisfied to stop there, no sirree, he EMAILED THIS TO THE EAGLE TRIBUNE FOR PUBLICATION! With this committee effectively defunct, and the complaint pretty much dead, there can be no earthly reason to try to destroy someone publicly other than the usual bullying malfeasance of an unqualified, uneducated dolt.

So let's do a quick recap, with his buddy Jack's resignation there are now only two members of this committee, and he is working overtime to bump one of these last remaining two off, even though the committee is no more. Yes, that's right, they can't DO ANYTHING! No Quorum, No Committee. This complaint will likely die now for lack of anyone to deal with it, and once again apparently everyone has been bludgeoned into silence. And, again, as usual, He will not stop attacking his critics until they reach the point that they will never speak out against his inappropriate behavior again. And once again, it is looking like the selectmen will turn their usual blind eye to these egregious actions and quietly pray that he retires so that they don't have to man up and actually put a stop to the very type of behavior that has cost the town and it's insurance carrier HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN LEGAL FEES AND SETTLEMENTS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS ALONE!

Anonymous said...

The reason he investigated the person on the committee is because HE knows he's wrong and he's just trying to make this person look bad, and WE know he's wrong and just trying to make the other person look bad.


Anonymous said...

He attacked a person in their OFFICIAL CAPACITY!
He axed for them to recuse themselfs when they didn't do anythin BUT did he ask Jack to recuse hisself when he IS IN A LAWSUIT with him? Hell no. Jack is on his side! Jack is his goomba. Gotta keep him around and git outta 'dis here new woe.

Anonymous said...

The person had the backing of the selectmen but maybe he doesn't know this yet.

Anonymous said...

Moderator, can you copy and paste the comments regarding this from the previous article (original submission)?

Alan said...

National math test scores continue to be disappointing. This poor trend persists in spite of new texts, standardized tests with attached implied threats, or laptops in the class. At some point, maybe we should admit that math, as it is taught currently and in the recent past, seems irrelevant to a large percentage of grade school kids.

Why blame a sixth grade student or teacher trapped by meaningless lessons? Teachers are frustrated. Students check out.

The missing element is reality. Instead of insisting that students learn another sixteen formulae, we need to involve them in tangible life projects. And the task must be interesting.

A Trip To The Number Yard is a math book focusing on the building of a bungalow. Odd numbered chapters cover the phases of the project: lot layout, foundation, framing, all the way through until the trim out. The even numbered chapters introduce the math needed for the next stage of building and/or reviews the previous lessons.

This type of project-oriented math engages kids. It is fun. They have a reason to learn the math they may have ignored in the standard lecture format of a class room.

If we really want kids to learn math and to have the lessons be valuable, we need to change the mode of teaching. Our kids can master the math that most adults need. We can’t continue to have class rooms full of math drudges. Instead, we need to clandestinely teach them math via real life projects.

Alan Cook