The state is warning 10 Maine school systems, including Lewiston, Auburn and Oak Hill Community School District, that they have too many poor-performing schools.

Lewiston and Oak Hill CSD, which serves Sabattus, Litchfield and Wales, were named to the state’s monitor list last week because their students didn’t make “adequate yearly progress” in reading as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Auburn was named because students failed to progress in both reading and math.

Adequate yearly progress is determined by student scores on the Maine Educational Assessment, a standardized test given to students in grades four, eight and 11.

In September, the state named more than 130 individual schools as poor-performers because their students didn’t score high enough on the test. In order for an entire school system to be cited, it had to have poor-performing schools at each level: elementary, middle and high school.

So far, school systems are only being warned. If their schools don’t improve next year, each system could face a host of sanctions, including new restrictions on federal funds. Such sanctions would affect every school in the system, not just those that performed badly.

“We’re working really hard, so I’m hoping it won’t happen to us,” said Janice Plourde, Lewiston’s curriculum director.

Lewiston High, Lewiston Middle, Pettingill Elementary and Montello Elementary schools all failed to make adequate progress in reading last year. Because of that, the state is now monitoring the entire school system.

To raise reading test scores, Lewiston is offering more teacher training, has instituted guided reading and is working on goals and assessments from elementary through high school.

Students will take this year’s state standardized test in March. The results are expected to be released later in the year.



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