A Mixed Report Card for Schools

Reports released Monday by the Alabama Department of Education show state-wide only 82 percent of schools made their annual yearly progress report. If a school does not make the grade two years in a row, like some in our area, parents can choose to bus their kids elsewhere.

The tables are turned on the school systems and this time elementary, middle, and high schools are tested by the state to make sure students are participating on the Alabama reading and math test and doing other things like graduating.

Both categories however, have been problematic to certain Dothan City and Houston County schools.

"The majority of our schools made AYP. We have 3 of our schools that are in school improvements." says Dothan City Schools Supt. Sam Nichols.

In Dothan both Northview and Dothan High School suffered because of graduation rates.

While scorers thought there weren't enough Honeysuckle Middle students participating in the AYP test.

"There was a discrepancy there on the number of kids taking it and number of kids enrolled in the school at the time it was administered." says Nichols

Over in Houston County, Cottonwood had enough students to graduate but suffered with reading for its special education program.

However, Houston County High, Ashford High, and Rehobeth High failed to get enough students across the graduation threshold.

A problem, leaders say they work to fix

"It's something that goes back to 6, 7, 8th grade when students have failed or gotten behind. By the time they got to the 9th grade some were 17 and dropped out before they became a senior." says Houston Co. Schools Superintendent Tim Pitchford.

But Houston County school leaders say there is a discrepancy by the state they don't agree with.

Such as how many students participated in taking the AYP test, if school leaders are right records will show 149 out of 153 goals met.

County leaders say they are going to challenge the states decision which will bring their AYP scores up.

Cottonwood failed AYP two years straight and therefore parents in Cottonwood will be receiving letters stating school transfer options available for their children.

To see what other schools in our area made the grade you may visit www.alsde.edu.

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