August 14, 2001, Tuesday
Schools 'go to war' against low scores;
BYLINE: Eric Eyre
SECTION: News; Pg. P1A
LENGTH: 581 words
counselors from a dozen
Last week, the state
Office of Education Performance Audits cited 13
Principals, counselors and central-office administrators examined test results and discussed strategies for improving scores in a four-hour meeting Monday morning.
"It's like going to war," said Stonewall Jackson Principal Carol Thom. "It's a full-scale effort."
Schools that didn't
meet the minimum standards were Anne Bailey, Belle,
The school board closed Midway Elementary in June.
Low-performing schools plan to eliminate most assemblies and noneducational field trips this year. They also plan to extend the school day, set up after-school programs and establish special reading and study-skills classes.
Principals plan to monitor teacher lesson plans more closely.
"We're identifying the deficiencies and coming up with strategies," said Assistant Superintendent Cindy Daniel. "It's a process. We'll continue to work with principals throughout the school year."
The number of
Last year, Kanawha school board members vowed to remove all schools - 10 at the time - from the probation list. Instead, the number increased by three.
"People should be having success with the SAT-9 by now," said Kenna Seal, director of the state's Office of Education Performance Audits, which accredits schools. "Instruction should be getting better with time."
Seal's office flagged
The measure forced principals and teachers to work with their lowest-performing students.
In past years, schools had targeted students "on the bubble," those whose test scores hovered just under the 50th percentile mark.
"You usually target for the middle of the road," said Chesapeake Elementary Principal William Russell, whose school had one too many students below the 25th percentile this year.
Seal acknowledged that large counties may have a difficult time paring schools from the state's low-performing list.
"It's like cutting your lawn and just getting the high weeds," Seal said. "But the other weeds keep growing."
To contact staff writer Eric Eyre, use e-mail or call 348-5194.
LOAD-DATE: August 15, 2001
CORRECTION-DATE: August 15, 2001, Wednesday
CORRECTION: A story and headline in Tuesday's Gazette about Kanawha County's plans to bolster student test scores should have said that the number of schools on the probation list - 13 - was the highest number since the 1997 school year, when 15 schools were on probation.
Copyright 2001 Charleston Newspapers