Wakonda one of only 21 districts not on alert with ‘No Child’ act

Wakonda one of only 21 districts not on alert with 'No Child' act by Ally Eckert Every year students in South Dakota take the standardized Stanford 10 Abbreviated Achievement test, or the SAT 10, part of the Dakota Step assessment system.

Now, part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, every state has to tell the public what the state's school districts received on such a test. The legislation that passed this is hoping that by raising the standard each year all public schools will be proficient in reading and math by the year 2014. Wakonda district has proven to be proficient based on last year's tests.

NCLB, passed by Congress two years ago, will require students, classrooms, school buildings, districts and the state to improve test scores each year. If schools don't improve, they are put on school improvement plans.

Once student test scores are compiled, they are rated in four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. Each building, district and state must improve students' scores to move them from the two lowest categories.

Overall, Wakonda's scores looked great compared to South Dakota averages. Students are divided into a variety of subgroups, including gender, disability, ethnicity, migrant, limited English proficiency and poverty. Each subgroup must make improvements.

With 171 school districts, South Dakota had only 21 districts that aren't on alert, meaning they had at least one subgroup needing improvement. Though it seems like South Dakota did badly, this state's average was higher than the national average. Also, 71 percent of all students who took the test were proficient or advanced in reading and 59 percent were proficient or advanced in math.

Wakonda's third through eighth grade targets were set for math at 45 percent and reading at 65 percent; Wakonda met that. For high school, the target for math was 60 percent and reading, 50 percent. Wakonda met those goals as well. That means that the school had those percentages of their students either proficient or advanced in those areas. Wakonda was one of the 21 districts not put on alert.

Of the area schools, including Gayville-Volin, Irene, Centerville, Beresford, Vermillion, Viborg, and Wakonda, only Wakonda and Centerville are not on alert. Irene and Viborg passed math but not reading.

For more information on the No Child Left Behind program and results of your school, you can go to http://www.state. sd.us/deca/release/reportcardrelease.htm If you want your child's individual results you can contact your school.

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