SOURCE: Lawrence Public Schools

December 18, 2008 15:34 ET

Lawrence Public Schools Ranks Among the Top in the State for Improving Academic Achievement of Students With Limited English Proficiency

LAWRENCE, MA--(Marketwire - December 18, 2008) - Today the Lawrence Public Schools announced an exciting achievement in the District's ongoing efforts to improve the academic achievement of students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). According to the recently released Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) report from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Lawrence Public Schools has met or exceeded the state-determined targets in three out of four categories. The report, which gives evidence to the progress being made in the Lawrence Public Schools, also indicates that Lawrence is one of only four urban districts in the state to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals in either English language arts or mathematics for its Limited English Proficient (LEP) subgroup of students. Lawrence Public Schools was among three urban districts performing at the top in the state, along with Cambridge and Revere Public Schools.

"These improvements in student achievement are a result of the hard work of our students, parents, teachers and administrators," said Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Wilfredo T. Laboy. "Our entire school community is dedicated to attaining the highest standards. I am proud of our progress and am committed to achieving our AYP goals in all categories for all students."

The first achievement category measures student progress toward acquiring English language proficiency, defined by students advancing by two or more performance level steps on the Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment (MEPA). The state target for 2007-2008 school year was for 62% of LEP students to make progress toward acquiring English proficiency. In Lawrence, 63% of the LEP students made progress as defined by the state.

The second category measures attainment of English language proficiency defined as scoring at the "Transitioning" level on MEPA. Lawrence students exceeded the targets established for the district by the state at both the Grade K-2 level and the grade 3-12 level on the spring 2008 assessment.

The final two categories measure AYP in English language arts and mathematics for the LEP subgroup of students. To satisfy the state's AYP requirements, a district must meet: 1) the 95% MCAS student participation requirement; 2) the 92% average attendance requirement; and either 3) meet the state's 2008 MCAS performance target for each subject or 4) meet the district's own 2008 improvement targets in English language arts and math. In Lawrence, the LEP subgroup of students achieved AYP requirements in mathematics, making the District one of only three urban districts in the state to do so. In English language arts, only one urban district achieved AYP for the LEP subgroup, and Lawrence Public Schools continues to strive to meet AYP in this subject area.

To further improve performance in these key areas, teachers are actively participating in ongoing professional learning activities based on research based strategies for teaching English Language Learners in Structured English Immersion classrooms.

For more information regarding the Lawrence Public Schools, please visit our Web site at www.lawrence.k12.ma.us, or call 978-975-5905.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Gail Rosengard
    Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
    978-975-5900, Ext. 338