Report cards in for school system

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Crenshaw County School System received its annual accountability report card from the State Board of Education last week and Superintendent Kathi Wallace said all indications are that county schools continue to show a steady rate of improvement.

"There were no surprises," she said. "I was pleased that we achieved AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) academically for the 'all students' subgroup and that we showed increased spending per student. I was pleased that our dropout rate was down and our enrollment was up. Individually, with each school - Luverne, Highland Home and Brantley - there were also no surprises and no problems identified by the report. There is always room to improve.

But we are committed to taking those steps that are necessary to lead to improvement.""

State Accountability in Alabama is based on the federal law known as the 'No Child Left Behind' Act (NCLB) of 2001. Each school system receives an annual report card of general information scoring how that system compares on average to others in the state. The AYP is based on annual goals for reading and mathematics in grades four, six, eight and 11 (for reading) and four, six and 11 (for math).

Average daily membership is also up from 2,369 to 2,377 notes Wallace. While that may not be a significant jump she said enrollment figures determines amount of funding and teaching units allotted by the state.

"Any increase is a positive," said Wallace.

Wallace pointed out that almost 87 percent of the 155 certified teachers in Crenshaw County met the definition of 'Highly Qualified' as determined by state and federal legislation.

This is 10 percentage points higher than the state average.

When the 'No Child Left Behind' act was instituted in 2001, Wallace said school systems were given five years to comply with this stipulation.

She also pointed out again that all Crenshaw County Public School teachers currently hold valid teaching certificates and only a few were still working towards being deemed 'Highly Qualified.'

"All of our teachers are just about there," said Wallace. "I think there may be 10 teachers who still have coursework to complete."

Wallace said that almost 52 percent of Crenshaw County teachers holds a master's degree or other post-graduate diploma.

The schools' career/technical education programs received passing marks as well, earning a rate of 100 percent for its business/industry certification.

Also, annual spending per student increased from $5,726.13 to $6,189.15 for 2003-04.

Wallace said the increased spending per student is related to the extra monies she received via local sales tax, something that could drop next year. Construction of Hyundai-related plants like SMART and Dongwon played a big part in that increase, she said.