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17 low-income schools face mandates this year

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of low-income Utah schools facing penalties for not performing well enough academically under the No Child Left Behind Act more than doubled in the past year.

Schools with a low-income student population, known as Title 1 schools, are held accountable under the law if students don't achieve a certain level of "adequate yearly progress" on standardized test results.

If a school doesn't reach predetermined AYP benchmarks for two consecutive years, it enters the school improvement program, according to the State Office of Education. That can mean a variety of consequences, from busing students elsewhere at the school's expense to administration changes.

This year, there are 17 Utah schools in the school improvement program, according to data released Friday by the State Office of Education. That's up from eight last year — the lowest in Utah since the NCLB act became law in 2002.

NCLB was designed to increase standards for public education over two decades, with a goal of 100 percent of students and schools across the country testing proficiently in English and math by 2014. Last year, 83 percent of Utah schools and 79 percent of students tested proficiently.

In order to successfully exit the improvement program, a school must achieve AYP for two years in the subject areas it previously failed, according to the state office. Provo Peaks Elementary, formerly Farrer Elementary, successfully exited the program this year.

The four schools that were put in school improvement last year successfully made AYP in 2011 and have to make AYP for one more year until successfully exiting the program.

The Title 1 schools that are in the school improvement program based on 2011 test scores are:

Greenwood Elementary, Alpine District; Millville Elementary, Cache District; Copperview Elementary, Canyons District; Antelope Elementary, Davis District; Vae View Elementary, Davis District; Dual Immersion Academy, charter school; Fast Forward High School, charter school; James Moss Elementary, Granite District; Monroe Elementary, Granite District; Pioneer Elementary, Granite District; Westlake Junior High, Granite District; T.O. Smith Elementary, Ogden District; Timpanogos Elementary, Provo District; Meadowlark Elementary, Salt Lake District; Riley Elementary, Salt Lake District; Montezuma Creek Elementary, San Juan District; and Coral Canyon Elementary, Washington District.

Email: mfarmer@desnews.com. Twitter: mollyfarmer