Hoping schools improve AYP

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, August 5, 2010

While seven Chilton County schools did not make AYP, it is important to note that four did.

Jemison Elementary School, Jemison Intermediate School, Maplesville High School and Verbena High School deserve congratulations for meeting the necessary goals to avoid landing on the school improvement list.

Chilton County High School, Thorsby School, Clanton Elementary, Clanton Intermediate, Clanton Middle, Isabella High School and Jemison High School did not meet the required goals and will now look ahead to making the necessary adjustments and improvements to ensure it doesn’t happen this year.

The annual reports look at reading scores, math scores, percentage of students taking standardized tests, attendance records and graduation rates.

Each school has goals for those items, including different goals for certain subgroups based on race and other socio-economic categories.

One school might have seven goals, while another might have 20 or more. It depends on the school’s size, grade levels and other criteria.

The system is complicated, and some would argue unfair, but the fact is that it is all schools have to work with at this point, so meeting the goals is the only priority until further notice.

The county graduation rate is 86 percent. All six high schools made the graduation rate this past year, which is a major plus for the county.

Schools also have to meet 100 percent of its goals to achieve AYP.

These results should be at the forefront of the Chilton County Board of Education’s agenda leading into the school year, and there is no reason to think they are not.

Board of education school improvement specialist and professional development coordinator Karen Mitchell said the county did finish 13 points higher for all students in the math category, which, as she also said, is very encouraging. Bringing the schools’ numbers down is reading.

Teachers, parents and other willing participants must do all they can to improve the education process for the young people of Chilton County and help them reach their full potential. It’ll take work from everybody.