Federal Education Department Grants Wyoming AMO Freeze

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CHEYENNE – In news coming from the state’s education department in Cheyenne, we’ve learned that Wyoming schools will be able to use the 2011-12 targets in the determination of adequate yearly progress, or AYP, for the 2012-13 assessment results.

The state education department just received notice in recent days from the US Department of Education that the agency had approved the state’s request to freeze Annual Measurable Objectives, known as AMOs.

Wyoming is one of more than 40 states that’s been given either an AMO freeze or been allowed to reset their AMO. Under the current system, every student in Wyoming would be expected to score proficient or advanced on the state test in every subject matter in the 2014 school year, according to the No Child Left Behind Act.

If scores were less than 100 percent proficient or advanced in every subject for every student, schools could face budget restrictions and increased federal reporting.

Wyoming’s state assessment for students in grades 3-8 is the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students, commonly referred to as PAWS. The American College Test, or ACT, is used as the state assessment for high school juniors.

The 2012-2013 AYP determinations will establish the ESEA Title I improvement status of schools for the 2013-2014 school year. When a school does not meet AYP for two or more consecutive years, it enters into improvement status.

That means, the entire district must set aside 20 percent of its Title I federal funding for school choice-related transportation and after two years in improvement, it includes Supplemental Educational Services (SES) such as tutoring from an outside contractor. The school classified as in improvement must also set aside an extra 10 percent of its funding for professional development.

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