(WICHITA, Kan.) — Teachers at Enterprise Elementary in Wichita know what's like to be "on the list."
“We were on improvement two years ago,” says Principal Pam Stead.
Two years of hard work has gotten them off of it.
So what is it?
The list refers to AYP which stands for “Adequate Yearly Progress.”
It’s part of the No Child Left Behind Act and is based on the premise that by 2014 , every child will be at a minimum proficiency on state reading and math tests.
“It's going to get to the point where we're all there. We just got there first,” says Stead.
Almost everything schools do is to prepare kids for test day.
“A lot of it…probably 80 to 85 percent of it,” says Stead.
Enterprise is an example of what it takes to get off the improvement list.
“We were on the improvement list because we didn't do very well in reading.”
Stead says it's not easy for urban districts. The schools have high poverty levels and many kids who speak English as a second language. Their students have to pass the same test.
“Imagine going to another country and being asked to take a test in the language of that country,” says Stead.
Enterprise basically reinvented how it teaches reading. Coaches were brought in for teachers, and administration. Two years later the school is off of the list.
“Through all those things we figured out what was wrong and started correcting it.”
Does that mean this school was failing?
“No.” says Stead.
“We're not a failing school and we weren't then either, but we did have to make some changes.”