Middle had failed to meet requirements, but former benchmarks have been scrapped

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Student performance on standardized testing will be measured differently this school year.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools have been measured each year on adequately yearly progress, according to the state Department of Education website.

Districts had to meet certain benchmarks, and by 2014, all students had to be at least proficient in math and language arts.

That and other mandates as part of the law are no more. Earlier this year, the federal government granted a waiver to New Jersey and others states from No Child Left Behind Act requirements.

Lyn Langford, director of curriculum and instruction at Middle Township, said adequately yearly progress “is being done away with.” The measurement will not be used this school year and beyond.

Instead, this school year the state Department of Education will measure schools and districts on new annual measurable achievement objectives. That will look at areas of need for the school and subgroups, like special education students, and the development of improvement plans, according to information from the state Department of Education.

The goal is for the achievement gap to be closed in six years, according to information from the state Department of Education.

Middle Township’s high school, middle school and elementary school No. 2 did not make adequately yearly progress for the 2010-11 school year, according to the state Department of Education. In 2009-10, the high school and middle school didn’t meet adequately yearly progress, either.

Several steps were taken if a school continued to fail in making adequately yearly progress. That included an early warning status for the first year and creating a restructuring plan for missing five consecutive years, which could include replacing all or most of the school staff.

The No Child Left Behind law was signed by President George W. Bush in 2002.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, students in elementary school, middle school and high school will take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The assessments will cover math and language arts and will be given at the end of courses.

Middle school and elementary school students currently take the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, and the high school students are administered the High School Proficiency Assessment.

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