Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TOP STORY >> Only PCSSD has schools on bottom of rankings

Leader staff writer

The 2009 annual performance report card ranks schools in 13 categories under No Child Left Behind’s adequate yearly progress guidelines, from achieving standards (at the top) down to state directed (at the bottom).

Pulaski County Special School District has 12 schools in the top category and nine at the bottom.

The Cabot district has eight in the top category and none on the bottom rung. Likewise Lonoke and Beebe school districts have no schools in the lowest category. Lonoke has one in the top category and Beebe has none.

Deborah Roush, with the PCSSD, said Monday that the district has been working hard to improve its schools.

She said last year the district entered into a contract with the Arkansas Leadership Academy to provide assistance to the low-performing schools. The academy has teams that work with principals and assistants to provide stronger leadership.

“That leadership trickles down and the entire school sees improvement,” Roush said. “With 39 schools in our district, strong leadership is paramount.”

The district is seeing such good results with the leadership team program that it will have more teams in more schools next year.

In some cases, the district has changed principals to bring about improved performances.

Roush added that teachers through the county district are involved in more focused intensive professional development.

In some cases schools have been revamped because of consistently poor performance. That’s one reason the boys and girls campuses at Jacksonville Middle School were recombined into one school, rather than two separate gender-based facilities, she said.

Roush said the district expects the results will show up in next year’s performance report card.

But based on the 2009 results, here is where area schools stand based on NCLB parameters, from best to worst:

(Exact placement is determined by the number of years a school has or has not met required test-score levels and whether a particular group or segment is failing to perform well or the entire school population is underperforming or failing.)

Achieving standards: Arnold Drive Elementary (PCSSD), Bayou Meto Elementary (PCSSD), Clinton Elementary (PCSSD), Warren Dupree (PCSSD), Eastside Elementary (Cabot), Central Elementary (Cabot), Westside Elementary (Cabot), Southside Elementary (Cabot), Northside Elementary (Cabot), Ward Central (Cabot), Magness Creek Elementary (Cabot), Stagecoach Elementary (Cabot), Lonoke Middle School, Tolleson Elementary (PCSSD), Sherwood Elementary (PCSSD), Pinewood Elementary (PCSSD).

Year one not to make standards: Cato Elementary (PCSSD), Cabot High School, Cabot Middle School South, Cabot Junior High North, Beebe High School.

Year one of targeted school improvement: Harris Elementary (PCSSD), Beebe Elementary, Beebe Intermediate.

Year two of targeted school improvement: Cabot Junior High South, Beebe Junior High, Beebe Middle School, Oakbrooke Elementary (PCSSD).

Targeted corrective action: Cabot Middle School North, Lonoke Elementary, Lonoke Primary School.

Targeted intensive school improvement: None.

Target restructuring: Sylvan Hills High School (PCSSD)

Year one of whole school improvement: Sylvan Hills Elementary (PCSSD).

Year two of whole school improvement: Jacksonville Middle School Boys (PCSSD).

Whole school corrective action: Lonoke High School.

Whole school intensive improvement: Jacksonville Elementary (PCSSD), Murrell Taylor Elementary (PCSSD).

Whole school intensive restructuring: Jacksonville Middle School Girls (PCSSD).

State directed: Northwood Middle School (PCSSD), Sylvan Hills Middle School (PCSSD), Jacksonville High School (PCSSD), North Pulaski High School (PCSSD).

(This is the last in a series of five articles on school rankings.)