Andalusia City Schools #039;clear#039;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Those looking for accountability in students' learning can look to the Andalusia City School System and find it.

The school system has received its standardized test scores from the state, and things look pretty good for Andalusia students.

"Our scores were very good," said Pam Rabren, administrative assistant for Andalusia City Schools. "We were 'clear' overall in everything, but the state has identified two small sub-groups where they would like to see some improvement."

Those two sub-groups contain only a few students, and Rabren said plans were already being made to address how to better serve those students.

"No matter if every student scored perfect, there's still room for improvement," she said. "We're developing a plan to identify the students who are going to need intervention, but we're going to also reinforce all of the students' learning so everyone will be prepared for testing."

What the "all clear" is on is the SAT 10 - or the Stanford Achievement Test Tenth Edition.

"This was a brand new test, based on new norms," Rabren said. "It's a much more difficult test than was taken in previous years, and it's a tremendous credit to the students and teachers on how well our school system performed."

In addition to achieving clear status on the SAT 10, Andalusia City Schools also received clear status on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

"The graduation exam used to be called the 'Exit Exam'," Rabren said. "It was on a lower grade level, but the new test is on an eleventh grade level. We were at 99 percent passing in both language and science, and 100 percent passing in math and reading."

On the eleventh grade level, the school system's passing rates were 87.16 percent in language, 96.33 percent in science, 90.83 percent in reading, 91.74 percent in math, and 86.11 percent in social studies; according to reports from the Alabama State Department of Education.

When it comes to the SAT 10, Andalusia City Schools continued to surpass the national average. For example, the national average is 50th percentile on the test. Andalusia's fourth graders scored in the 64th percentile on the test, the fifth graders scored in the 53rd percentile, and the third graders scored in the 58th percentile.

Rabren said much of that success can be attributed to the fact the school system follows so closely the mandates from the state, and even exceeds them whenever possible.

"We do what we can to go that extra mile - to give students what they need," she said.