Silver Chips Online

Blair passes math for "No Child Left Behind"

Reading results to arrive in near future

By Julie Zhu, Online Art Editor
September 2, 2006
Blazers met the 2005-2006 math requirements of Maryland's schoolaccountability system "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP), a part of the Bush Administration's "No Child Left Behind" Act, for the second consecutive year. According to principal Phillip Gainous, if Blair also passes the reading AYP requirements the results of which will come shortly the school will exit the improvement process for three years.

Blair passed in mathematics last year and passed again this year, fulfilling the second consecutive year requirement for passing AYP in the improvement process. Gainous attributed this to the concentrated efforts of both students and teachers. "The kids worked hard, came after school," he said. "It was a real collaborative effort of teachers and students."

When a school enters the AYP, or improvement process, it is allowed two years to meet AYP proficiency rate and participation rate requirements for various subgroups. These subgroups consist of five racial groups and three special groups: ESOL, free/reduced lunch and special education. If it does not make AYP in two years, it will be identified for "Corrective Action," when the state intervenes and directs changes at the school. Blair was introduced into the improvement process in 2003-2004 when the Hispanic group did not meet the AYP mathematics proficiency rate requirements because of low scores in algebra.

According to Gainous, the algebra team, led by Maria Costello, engaged in personal tutor-like class sessions during and after school. Teachers combined two or three classes and had one teacher instruct while the other teachers helped students individually. After school at the Blair Sports Academy, a partnership with the Recreation Department set up by Gainous, teachers tutored approximately 150 to 175 students to further cement material to be tested.

The only scores left to determine if Blair passes or fails are the reading scores. However, Gainous said that reading was never a problem for Blair.