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Libby students show progress

| November 30, 2004 11:00 PM

The most current round of testing shows that students in the Libby School District are making adequate progress according to federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

³For Libby it¹s a good, good thing,² said district superintendent Kirby Maki. ³It really shows that our staff is dedicated and hardworking and as a district we¹re moving in the right direction.²

In 2003, the first year of mandated testing under NCLB, some subgroups of Libby students did not show adequate progress in the tested areas of reading and math. If a district fails to meet the standards two years in a row, some federal funding is withheld to allow some services for a district to be provided by an outside contractor. If a district continues to fail to meet standards, sanctions become more severe and after several years allow parents to choose another school, Maki said.

Under NCLB, the progress of students in grades four, eight and 10 is measured annually using standardized tests. While only reading and math skills are currently measured, science will be added to the testing in 2006, Maki said.

Students are currently required to show 55-percent proficiency in reading and 40-percent proficiency in math. Libby students met the requirements in all measured subgroups and exceeded state averages in most areas, Maki said.

Targeted proficiency levels under NCLB are slated to increase annually until 2014, when 100-percent proficiency will be required.

The results of the tests are reassuring because they show the changes implemented after Libby failed to meet requirements in 2003 are working and the district is headed in the right direction, Maki said.

³It was really nerve-wracking waiting to see if it had made a difference,² he said.