Hartselle schools achieve state goals

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle students will head back to class this week with a dose of good news.
All city schools received passing grades in the latest round of reporting from the Alabama Department of Education. The department released its list of schools achieving Adequate Yearly Progress on Monday.
The department rates the schools on a variety of criteria, including reading and mathematics scores, attendance and graduation rates. The criteria is broken down based on student subgroups, including race, special education and English as a second language students and those receiving free or reduced lunch. To achieve adequate progress, a school must show improvement in every subgroup. The number of criteria differs from school to school, based on the number of subgroups.
Barkley Bridge Elementary achieved nine of nine goals; Crestline Elementary and F.E. Burleson each achieved 13 of 13. Hartselle High achieved all nine of its goals; Hartselle Junior High scored a perfect 21 out of 21.
Statewide, 82 percent of schools achieved 100 percent of their AYP goals.
Gov. Bob Riley, who serves as state School Board president, said the results show positive improvement in the four years since the AYP reporting system began.
"Alabama's schools have made tremendous progress during the past few years," Riley said. "Just three years ago, only 23 percent schools met all their yearly progress goals. This year, we've raised the bar and saw a sharp decrease the number of schools designated as needing 'school improvement.' If we continue to expand proven programs like the Alabama Reading Initiative, Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, ACCESS distance learning, we'll increase the quality of teaching and learning across the state."
The county system also posted high scores, but two schools were cited for failing to meet all its goals.
West Morgan High School achieved eight of nine goals. It fell short in its graduation rate with 81 percent, 9 percent short of its goal. Graduation rate also hurt Brewer High School. Brewer reported a graduation rate of 66 percent with a goal of 90 percent. This is the second year Brewer had failed to meet its graduation rate goal, landing it on a list of schools that need improvement. Schools in this category have failed to achieve state goals for two consecutive years. The state sends support to these schools to work to improve the scores.
Morgan County's system falls among the 175 schools statewide that achieved 90 to 99 percent of its goals. According to State Superintendent of Education Joe Mortin, some 76 percent of the schools that didn't make AYP this year missed it by only one goal. He said he'd like to see portions of No Child Left Behind, the law that required the yearly testing and reporting, changed.
"After five years, the U.S. Congress is now in the process of reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind law," Morton said. "The state Board of Education and I have offered suggestions for improvement. One suggestion is to consider different consequences for schools based on the degree to which they miss AYP. That way, if a school misses AYP in just one area it is not treated the same as a school that misses it across the board

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