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Three of five schools fail to reach NCLB goals

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High school labeled ‘declining,’ Ward, Turner post good results

By Shannon Brock

Just two of Anderson County’s five schools that are subject to state testing met the required No Child Left Behind goals for 2010, and the district as a whole also failed to meet its goals.

NCLB goals are set by the state in an effort for all students to score proficient or higher on state assessments by the year 2014. In order to get to 100 percent by 2014, schools are required to reach a percentage, which increases each year.

Emma B. Ward and Robert B. Turner elementary schools met all of their NCLB goals, according to data released Thursday.

Saffell Street Elementary School met nine out of 10 goals, with the subpopulation of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch not meeting the mark in mathematics.

Anderson County Middle School met nine out of 13 goals. The subpopulations of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and students with a disability did not meet either of the goals in reading or mathematics.

Anderson County High School met eight out of 13 goals. The subpopulation of students with a disability did not meet its goals in reading. The subpopulations of white students, students qualifying for free and reduced lunch and students with a disability and the school as a whole did not meet goals in mathematics.

This is the second consecutive year the high school did not make “adequate yearly progress” as determined by NCLB. This means the school is eligible for state assistance, which basically means staff and administration are working to revise the school’s plan, said Instructional Supervisor Steve Karsner.

“We know math is a weak area, so we will work to make it stronger,” Karsner said.

Karsner was already planning meetings with high school principals and teachers in the math department.

Across the board, in several areas where NCLB goals were not met, progress was still made, Karsner said.

For instance, at the middle school, the subpopulation of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch increased the percentage of proficient scores in reading from 56.69 percent in 2009 to 59.45 percent in 2010. However, since the state goal for 2010 was 72.8 percent, the school did not meet that goal.

Or in the case of Saffell, the school met 90 percent of its required goals, but not meeting just one goal out of 10 means the school overall did not make adequate yearly progress.

The district also pays attention to a number it calls the “transition index,” which takes into account math and reading scores along with science, social studies and writing.

The goal with the transition index is to score at or above 100 by the year 2014.

For 2010, Ward is at 106 and Turner is at 100, so both schools have already met that goal.

Saffell is at 93 and is labeled as “improving.” The middle school is at 90 and is labeled as “on track to 100.”

The high school is at 76 and is labeled as “declining.”

In comparison to the rest of the state, Ward is the district’s highest ranking school coming in, in the top 12 percent of all elementary schools.

Turner is in the top 29 percent and Saffell is in the top 57 percent.

The middle school is in the top 47 percent and the high school is in the top 48 percent.

However, the high school is in the top 25 percent in the state in college and career readiness.

As a whole, the district is in the top 35 percent.

“We like to think that we’re in the top third in the state,” Karsner said. “So we’re about where we want to be.”

To move forward, Karsner said the district will focus more on tracking individual students.

“If we know where the kids are, we can figure out how to get them to reach the standards,” he said.

Karsner said the district will look at what successful schools are doing and try to implement those practices in Anderson County.

E-mail Shannon Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.