Colorado schools inch toward improvement

October 4, 2011

Dozens of Colorado schools that most needed improvement are making progress, although gains have slowed significantly, the Colorado Department of Education announced Tuesday.

Forty-six percent of schools in Colorado made Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, targets in 2011, down from 62 percent in 2010, a decrease resulting from the significant increase in federal performance expectations for schools and districts in 2011. Despite the increased expectations, 17 schools that had been identified for Improvement previously made enough progress to come off the Improvement list. In 2010, only five schools made enough progress to be removed from the list.

Adequate Yearly Progress is a measurement defined under the federal No Child Left Behind Act that gauges academic performance for every school and district in the country. Schools on Improvement are those that receive federal Title I funds but do not reach AYP targets in the same content area for two consecutive years.

Targets are increased every three years. Targets increased in the 2010-11 school year from 5 to 13 percentage points, depending upon the grade level and content area.  Districts and schools reach their AYP targets only when the student body as a whole and all disaggregated groups of students (by race, income, English language learners and students with special needs) meet the targets, or show significant gains towards those targets.

In addition to the 17 that are no longer on School Improvement, another 30 schools on School Improvement status reached their AYP targets for the first time. If these 30 schools reach their AYP targets again next year, they will be removed from School Improvement status.

In 2011-2012, 223 schools have been identified for School Improvement out of 2,043 schools in the state.

Locally, two schools are improving at a pace that will take them off the Improvement list in 2012-13. Monterey Elementary School in Harrison School District 2 is in school improvement year one. Monroe Elementary School in Colorado Springs School District 11 is in its second improvement year.

A complete list of school and district AYP results, including the 30 schools on Improvement that made AYP for the first year, is available at For more information on AYP, visit

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