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New rule may affect area schools

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Clay County schools could be in danger of state intervention in 2012 if a new Indiana Board of Education proposal is passed.

Both North Clay Middle School (NCMS) and East Side Elementary School (ESES) missed 2011 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and received a D letter-grade under Public Law 221, under two evaluations determined by the state.

If the new rule is passed, the two schools may be subjected to expedited state sanctions, which could include state takeover.

According to a presentation by Clay Community School (CCS) Assistant Superintendent Tim Rayle, PL 221 is an accountability system for K-12 education aimed to establish major educational reform and accountability statewide.

A school's evaluation grade is based on student performance and improvement data from the state's ISTEP+ and End-of-Course assessments (ECAs).

The scores are calculated by examining three categories: Performance (number of students who pass the English and math portions of the ISTEP+, ISTAR or IMAST tests as well as English 10 and Algebra I ECAs), improvement over a three-year period and AYP status.

A school that misses AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject area is capped at a "C."

If a school was capped a previous year, it must make AYP for two consecutive years in order for the cap to be removed.

If the state's new language proposal is adopted, any school who receives a D (academic watch) or a F (probation) under the ranking system would be affected by these sanctions, which includes 104 schools in 76 districts according to The Tribune Star.

Previously, schools that have received a F for six years can be taken over, but the new rule allows for state sanctions after four years for any school with a letter grade of a D or F.

According to CCS Superintendent Kimberly Tucker, North Clay Middle School has struggled in the last several years to maintain achievement growth and missed 2011 AYP.

They lost 3 percent from 74.2 percent pass rate to 71.2 percent and received a D.

Eastside Elementary has also struggled to increase overall student achievement, and missed AYP.

The school's overall pass percentage was 68.7 percent, with improvement of less than 1 percent. Eastside's overall letter grade was a D.

Rayle said teachers and administrators have been working hard to prevent state intervention and further academic growth.

"The teachers in both schools have been focusing on student mastery of state standards through Growth Model Data. These standards are tested in the spring on the ISTEP+ assessment," Rayle said. "In addition, teachers have been analyzing the data from various assessments and directing student learning based upon the data. East Side teachers have committed to using the 8-Step process."

The Indiana Department of Education's 8-Step Instructional Model includes: Data disaggregation, timeline development, instructional focus, assessment, tutorials, enrichment, maintenance and monitoring with a "plan, do, check and act" cycle plan where teachers continuously develop and assess new curricula until they find something that works best.

"The process has shown some exciting promise for instructional program improvement," Tucker told The Brazil Times previously.

Rayle said he thinks state take over is "very unlikely."

"East Side has shown improvement in PL 221 scores and has made the NCLB requirements for AYP with the exception of 05, 07 and 10," Rayle said. "PL 221 looks at both performance and improvement. As the student scores increase overall, the overall assessment performances will improve."

Rayle said teacher's jobs are not on the line and students are not at risk for being redistributed within the school district.

"East Side is in Title 1 choice," Rayle said. "Parents have been informed about this and were given the option to stay at East Side or to attend Meridian or Van Buren."

Rayle added, "We have very good schools and a very good school corporation. We are continuing to use "Best Practices." Our teachers are adapting their strategies to meet the needs of the students.

We utilize professional development as a method of allowing our teachers to be trained in the practices that best meet the needs of our students."

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I bet the school and teachers are goingto blame the Students for the D

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 3:32 PM

Carebutton, do the students not have any responsibility here? The ones who stay up all night playing video games on their school night sleepovers, the ones who never take a book home from school the entire year, the ones whose parents let them stay up as late as they want and stay home from school whenever they want?

All schools and all teachers can be better. But it's pretty difficult to teach people whose top 100 priorities don't include anything about school except the last bell that rings at the end of the day.

-- Posted by Bruther on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 10:29 PM

While I can agree the schools can do better, accountability is for everyone involved. Teachers, Counselors, Administration, Students, and Parents. Schools get a grade based on how young people perform on tests. Students get a grade based on their work ethic and effort in classes. Again, we want the schools to do their best, however, where are the students and their families held to a standard. In my business, I count on customers to buy into my product and services to be succesful. If the students and their families (the school's customers), then how are the schools to be successful.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 11:15 PM

Bruther, I would bet you must be a teacher,always Blaming everyone else, bad students, parents, not enough time ,etc. GIVE ME A BREAK ! Teachers are role models well use to be now tey are over paid babysitters. i agree with one thing you said :

All schools and all teachers can be better. But it's pretty difficult to teach people whose top 100 priorities don't include anything about school except the last bell that rings at the end of the day. Some of these people whom are waiting for the last bell is TEACHERS, if you don't believe this , 1. call the middle school @ 3:30pm, see if anyone answers. 2. go there and see how many teachers are leaving @ last bell.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 11:19 PM


I am not sure if I am the "Brother" you are talking about. I am not really sure where you read my blaming everyone but the teachers. To make certain that you understand my posting, "Teachers, Counselors, Administration, Students, and Parents", in my talking about accountability. Where exactly again do you see my blaming everyone but the teachers? I am not a teacher, nor would I want to be. Those poor people cannot win. They are blamed by the Department of Education for low scores, they are blamed by the community for kids not working hard, and they do everything they can to help kids. Have you ever walked through North Clay after 3:30? I have not, so I cannot say if they are there or not. How do you know that they don't have meetings, appointments, or 250 papers to grade? I do not know, so I cannot say if they are just leaving because the day is over. What do you do when your work is over? It is easy to gripe about something that you apparently know nothing about.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 11:56 PM

Ron , please read the other comments, I see you want to get into the article but as the say you dn't seem to be te sharpest tool in th shed. maybe if you would spend time in school , you too could see what does on.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:53 AM


Please forgive my lack of reading every comment made. I am surprised by your comment of my not being the sharpest tool in the shed. Once again, you are making assumptions about something you have a clue about. I have spent time in schools, my children are both graduates of CCSC (Clay Community School Corporation) and I found every teacher and other employee helpful, caring, and willing to make accomodations for me when I could not meet with teachers during school hours.

Just a hint as well, you can preview, proof read, and correct your post.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 9:24 AM

Carebutton, you are clearly upset that you did not get a good education since you cannot spell or correctly use the English language.

I am a teacher, but not at North Clay. I have no idea what goes on there.

Are you seriously telling me that the lack of production in their test scores is ALL the teachers' fault? If a child doesn't want to learn, or if someone doesn't value it to them, they won't. In those cases -- of which there are thousands -- it doesn't matter if the teacher is great, mediocre (that means average, by the way), or horrible.

-- Posted by Bruther on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 9:42 AM

Amen Bruther!!!!!

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 10:11 AM

Yes the blame may lay on all involved but I believe a major factor may be lack of communication on the schools part. When my children were at North Clay they seemed to struggle after never making bad grades through elementary. Never once did I get a letter or any type of communication saying "hey your daughter/son is struggling". Finally I had to go to the school and meet with them. When I asked why my child was not held back for their horrible grades I was told that they DO NOT hold children back in jr. high because it is a social stigma against them. Some kids know they will not be held back so they don't try. What kid isn't gonna take advantage of a free pass? Thankfully after hard work on MY part and not the schools, my child's grades turned around. It wasn't easy. I couldn't even get the teachers to send me assignments home or confirmation from them that work was being done. Both of my children thankfully made it through North Clay and on to the high school where they excelled in grades. That school has major issues. I haven't heard many parents say good things about it.

-- Posted by ugotitdude on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 11:51 AM

Maybe teachers could instruct students in spite of their parents or home settings. Set the target goal, make sure students are aware of the goal and if the goal is not met, do not promote them. It's that simple.

-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 12:05 PM

I believe the term that is used is Social Promotion. As a parent, you have the right to request that your child be held back. The elementary grades are much easier to obtain due to smaller class sizes and more instructional assistants. The communication issue is definitely a concern. From my understanding, Northview contacts parents frequently about kids not performing. I was lucky in the middle school, my child was on the Noble team. The communication from those 2 teachers was very good, and I could not say enough good things about them.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 12:17 PM

Ronnine, and Bruther, I can see yu both are real educated NOT, matbe this is one of the problems in the school corp. uneducated teachers ( just because yor parents paid for your school, spent 4 years doesnt mean you know anything, Gratuated with a( Miller degree) my spelling or grammer may be wrong or mispelled, my point is made. Your job as a teacher is Not being met ,look at home school ,drop outs, oh i know a D in this article. all the school cares about is scores not students.

For the comment for the parent to hold the child back. Stupid! as for a teaching, been there done that, it is the School corp. job to hold back a student....No child left behind, not pushed through until their senior year and say try another year. PLEASE

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 1:47 PM

Thank you for all your comments, but the fact is NCMS got a D. you can put the blame on whomever you want. teachers, students, or parents, The CHILDREN are paying for it. you have a job,maybe, I have a job, uneducated children will have a hard time getting a job. but Welfare is excepted now days.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 2:05 PM

Modivation to do well begins at home. I am a teacher and can tell you first hand that it is not uncommon to have students come in and tell us that their parents/guardians don't care what kind of grades they take home. In fact I was just talking to two female students Friday about ISTEP and one said she has passed and the other not. When I asked the one that didn't pass she said her parents could careless if she passes the ISTEP, "in fact they think it's a waste of time" so she "Just clicks buttons" to get it over with. So, is this a lack of effort on the teachers part to get them to this point? Good question, huh? Education is a team effort just like band, football, baseball, track, etc. and if one piece fails, whether it be the schools, parents, students or community, then we ALL fail. Good team players don't point fingers at teammates to place blame, because mirrors never lie!

-- Posted by realitycheck! on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 4:38 PM

Good point Realitycheck! " Education is a team effort just like band, football, baseball, track, etc." As and outsider looking in I am shocked at the local sport & entertainment culture taking top honors every year with deserved praise , Where do we draw the line? I just don't understand how you continue the hypocritical POLICY of your schools getting Ds and you spend so much time energy and $$$ on football and the NMK.....Go Knights! Jus sayin.. WoW I am sure glad my son got his education in California.

-- Posted by Combat VET on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 5:09 PM

Realitycheck, just because a student told you that, you should know that doesn't necessarily mean that it's true. God knows if I believed everything my kids have said about the teachers I would have been at the school a long time ago with boxing gloves on.

I made a comment on here earlier that was deleted. I suspect it was because I singled out a specific teacher, so I won't do that again. But I will say that when my grandson was stuggling with a subject I send an e-mail to that teacher begging for assistance and asked how to get help or a tutor for him. The only response I got was, hey tell your grandma I got her e-mail. I didn't even get the respect of a reply.

I have talked to many parents that just tell me to hold my breath and get them through middle school and things will turn around. Well personally I think that is a load of BS and from the D grade the school has received there is a lot of truth in that.

-- Posted by visitorfromthewest on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:11 PM

North Clay does need someone to take over. I was never so glad when my girls got out of that school. I have 2 more years and my son will be going there. The office workers are rude and disrespectful and so is Dr. Allen. He should not be the principal. He is cocky and arrogant. I hope things change before my son starts going out there or if I have to I will send him to Terre Haute schools until he gets in high school. I hate to do that but I dispice North Clay. Worst school in this district.

-- Posted by seed46 on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:29 PM

There are several comments that need clarifications for the benefit of the posters.

Carebuttonbroke- NCLB is designed to level the "playing field" for special needs children. Again, arguing a point with limited knowledge of the topic. Retention of a student is a committee decision where the parent CAN request retention (held back). Research your information as some of us do and you will know.

Roger- you do make some valid points, however the money that is spent on extra-curricular activities is largely funded through fundraising. I know this by what seems a lot of kids knocking on the door selling items.

One last thing carebuttonbroke- stick to the topic not criticizing the presumed educational levels of those whoactually show you what is accurate. By the way I have a Master's Degree in Business Administration. That is the level above a Four-Year Degree.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:46 PM

Ronnie, all your so called knowledge in this area and still you do nothing. it's not just the parents that can help this poor school. People with Master's degree welcome.

again the teachers whom are suposed to have the education give the blame to the parent to hold back a child. and thank you for clarifying what a master's degree is...lol.

i guess other comments about the school, it looks like a D was a good score.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 8:20 PM

How do really know what I have done with the schools? I actually have participated on committees dealing with education. Do you really know what the grade is based on? It is not just test scores, it is also attendance, growth of individual students, gender, race, free or reduced lunch, regular ed, and special ed students. What have you done to help the school with your "gratuation with a miller degree?

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 8:39 PM

How do really know what I have done with the schools. well said mr. master's degree.

I guess you havent read most comments, NCMS knows all as well as you, and they think they are better than others, other parents think the same, some just hold their tongue until their kids go to Northview. Have a good night.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 8:54 PM

Well, Mr. Master's Degree just got YOU. I intentionally left out the part that is needed, YOU. Obviously, YOU missed that. Everyone has to work together to get the end result of educating the kids. It starts with, what can YOU do to get involved in school? The more everyone becomes involved in education the better. I have never felt as though the staffs of various schools acted like they were better than me. Perhaps YOU just have the negative attitude towards education and go in with a chip on your shoulder.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 9:13 PM

LOL, you are so funny, there is no chip just eyes opened, I am involved with the school this is how I know. i guess the other parents whom feel the same have chips also. you are like other want to be teachers blaming others. Still you don't read all the comment before opening your mouth, read others they have promblems with ncms, not just me. you are so funny, cents on humor.LOL

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 9:24 PM

What is the enrollment at North Clay? I count 5 including you carebuttonbroke. After discussing this issue with some friends of mine, North Clay is improving with the work of Superintendent Tucker and Dr. Rayle. It would be interesting to find out what areas North Clay missed. I also heard that my children's team was being broken up. It seems as though the smaller team concept allows for the teacher/student relationship to grow. This also was great with communication to let me know how my children were doing. I hope that the Nobles are not done away with. If I had more children that would attend North Clay, I would request that team.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 9:50 PM

Educate yourself!

-- Posted by Combat VET on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 9:13 AM

Not sure why I'm wasting my time responding to carebutton, but for your information I have 15 graduate hours past a master's degree. (That's a whole lotta book learning, in your terms.) Plus 20 years of professional experience in the area that I teach.

I am right with the people who want to end social promotion; it's the root of the whole problem in every school corporation. Why it still continues everywhere, I cannot say. If students are not made to study in junior high/middle school knowing they will pass any way, there is no quick switch to flip once they become freshmen that makes them start wanting to learn.

There is no one person/thing to blame, just as there is no one solution. But if the parents don't do their jobs correctly, what happens once they send them out the front door doesn't even matter if the kids do not WANT to be taught anything.

-- Posted by Bruther on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 10:31 AM

A degree is not a measure of intelligence .. any more than the lack of one measures stupidity.

Now that you all have hosed the comment section down with testosterone (by waving your degrees around), maybe we can get back on topic.

I have one son that excelled at NCMS/Northview and one that I had to transfer to Clay City to ensure his educational needs were met. Every child learns differently.

Before I moved him to Clay City, I attended a parent/teacher conference and was told, "Your son just doesn't get it. I have 30 students in my class - 25 'get it'. I don't have time to waste on the 5 that don't."

My response was, "The 25 who 'get it' don't need you. The 5 who don't get it, do!" My son couldn't tell you what he learned in class, but he could tell me the cause of numerous scars on his male teacher's body - at the hand of a mean older brother - as this was often the topic of conversation in the classroom.

A "D" sounds about right to me.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 11:54 AM

I think if you look at this from a logical point of view and actually check out the facts then you will come to the conclusion that almost all middle schools with factors like North Clay are struggling. The best way to attack supposed defiencies in these schools is the dedication of ALL involved. Carebuttonbroke is more of the problem then the solution. People like her and the mentality she represents is the problem with this country and until we eradicate that type of thinking and negativity we are going to have problems. She and many others always blame others instead of looking in the mirror. I have news for you CBB, you and your type of thinking is the problem. I have had kids attend North Clay and they had a great experience overall. Sure in life your going to have problems/adversity but a responsible adult would look at that as a growing experience not a road block to their child's growth.

-- Posted by Mrs. Positive on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 12:10 PM

Testosterone and degrees have nothing to do with the topic. They do not, however pass out degrees like candy. I would be willing to bet my year's salary that a teacher said, "your son just doesn't get it and I don't have time to waste on the 5 that don't. It was also never said that without a degree, a person is stupid. It is a mistake that so many people make in only hearing what they think, instead of what is said. As a parent, deal with educational issues with the teacher first, as an adult, not to criticize the teacher for not teaching. I challenge anyone that is critical of teachers, call the principal, volunteer for one week to do what teachers do, and then report back in a public forum what you witnessed. I did this when my children were in elementary, and all I can say is NO WAY could I do that every day. Thank you to everyone in the schools for what you do. I am sorry that you are in a profession where there is a public forum for you to get hammered for certain things out of your control. Schools and politics are the only jobs where this happens. Is this not true???

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 12:32 PM

Mrs. Positive,. thank you for ur comments. If i'm one of the problems @ north clay, maybe I should place on blinders. but even then NCMS still received a D . that is the bottom line. You can blame whomever you want for it.

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 7:41 PM

I know, let's buy a new Administration Building and Build or buy a new Bus Garage. That will fix everything!

-- Posted by ccc on Tue, Nov 22, 2011, at 7:27 AM

I do think that standardized testing is wrong, due to the fact that not everyone learns at the same rate. I passed all the tests with flying colors when I was in school, but that doesn't mean that my kids will. Each student is different and if you try to teach them all the same way the schools will suffer. There has to be a different way of instructing these kids so that they all do well, not just a handful.

-- Posted by dxrs0 on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 2:24 AM

Sometimes I wish this site had a LIKE button like Facebook! Some of you have great points where it is clear that others have opinions and not children. I had two kids go through NCMS both struggled with behavior as well as grades. I have worked at that school and will tell u that some of the things your kids are telling you are true. Teachers that will remain nameless are very small minded. They would make it their job to write a student up for every tiny thing they could find. Now please don't misunderstand there is more teachers that are the type that will go out of their way to help and there are more of these kind of teachers than the type I just mentioned. But it does seem that the first type have settled @ NCMS. Both of my kids have excelled in grades and behavior since leaving that school. My son alone his last semester was written up 7 times for gum or candy. This along with a couple of more serious infractions landed him in COPE which cost me $75. I might also add that he asked to be placed there permanently he liked the teacher and the method of teaching so much better. We have some cleaning up to do & I for one welcome the state to make some changes our corporation is evidently not interested. When a child has to ask to be moved to an alternative school in place of being with his friends I think there is a bigger problem at hand.

-- Posted by Nikki_Matthews on Fri, Nov 25, 2011, at 4:41 PM

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