The Rapidian

GRPS Increases Number of Schools 'Making the Grade' for 5th Consecutive Year




Before a crowd of more than 250 school principals, teacher leaders, support staff, and community partners, Superintendent Bernard Taylor, Jr., Ed.D. announced that the Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) increased the number of schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress for the fifth consecutive year.

The announcement comes as the Michigan Department of Education officially released the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) School Report Cards for Michigan’s public schools. This is the annual report of AYP, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

GRPS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of schools meeting AYP since 2006. In 2006, only 26 of the district’s schools were meeting AYP. Today, 49 of the district’s 57 schools are meeting AYP.

“The remarkable results we have achieved over the last five consecutive years speak volumes about our students, our teachers, our school leaders, and the overall strategic direction of this district,” said Superintendent Bernard Taylor, Jr., Ed.D. “I want to congratulate our students, parents, staff members, and all our community partners on a job well done.”

Highlights of the AYP results for GRPS include:
- Increased the number of schools meeting AYP for fifth consecutive year
- Since 2006, nearly doubled the number of schools meeting AYP from 26 to 49 today - just 8 schools shy of every school meeting AYP
- Since 2006, nearly quadrupled the number of schools earning a “B” grade or better on the State Education Yes report, up from 7 to 27 today
- All four comprehensive high schools met AYP for the first time collectively (new this year is Union)
- All comprehensive middle schools met AYP for the first time collectively (new this year: Ford, Harrison and Westwood)
- KEC Oakleigh and Lincoln School met AYP for the first time
- Central, Creston, and Ottawa Hills met AYP for second year in row and will drop from the state "Watch List"
- Overall, the district as a whole met AYP for the third consecutive year

“What is also remarkable about these achievements is the AYP bar is raised each year as required by
No Child Left Behind, so not only have we doubled the number of schools meeting AYP, we’ve done so consistently as the bar was raised higher and higher each year,” said Dr. Taylor.

In order for a school to meet AYP, all 50 sub-groups of students (special education, English
Language Learners, etc.) must hit their target. If just one subgroup fails, the entire school fails and the
school is labeled with the scarlet letter of “Not Meeting AYP.” Unlike most of the schools in the region,
all 50 sub-groups apply to GRPS because of the size and population, which makes it that much more
challenging for our schools to meet AYP.

In addition to crediting students, parents, and staff for the remarkable achievements, Superintendent Taylor made a point to also give credit and thanks to the dozens of foundations, non-profits, businesses, and community leaders for their support.

“I want to give special thanks and praise to our community partners who are working to support our students, staff and schools,” said Dr. Taylor.

Some of the district’s leading partners include: Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, the DeVos Family Foundations, United Way Schools of Hope, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Steelcase Inc. and Steelcase Foundation, Amway Corporation, the I Believe, I Become Initiative, Kent School Services Network, Spectrum Health, Rockford Construction, Triangle Associates, Christman Co., Van Andel Institute, GRCC, GVSU, Michigan State University, and countless others.

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