Principals report on graduation status at county schools

Published 2:01 pm Monday, May 3, 2010

All three of the county’s public high school principals updated the Butler County Board of Education on graduation status of their students at Thursday night’s board meeting.

Jennifer Burt, interim principal at Butler County Magnet School, said 59 percent of the BCMS 10th graders had passed the reading subtest on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE) compared to 78 percent of 11th graders and 86 percent of 12th graders.

These results mean a four percent increase for the 10th grade; seven percent for the 11th and five percent for the 12th grade compared with last year.

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In terms of the math subtest, 51 percent of 10th graders passed, a three percent increase; 74 percent of 11th graders, a five percent drop and 84 percent of 12th graders, a six percent drop.

When questioned about the regression of some of the scores, Burt said, “Motivation is a problem. AYP is not real to some of the students and we have students who are not taking these tests as seriously as we would like to see them . . . we do have two new teachers and one is brand new to the teaching profession.”

Students passing all parts of the AHSGE at BCMS: 28 percent of 10th graders, 59 percent of 11th graders and 74 percent of 12th graders.

Advanced diplomas will be awarded to 40 percent of BCMS grads; 33 percent will receive a standard diploma; nine percent, credit-based; seven percent, Alabama Occupational Diploma and two percent will receive a certificate of attendance, and nine percent are categorized as “other.”

“No one will not receive a diploma due to lack of credits; that is something we have worked very hard on,” said Burt.

Dr. Charles Farmer focused on the status of GHS juniors in his presentation.

“Of 185 11th graders tested, 121 are currently eligible for graduation (assuming they obtain all 25 required credits,” Farmer said.

The breakdown at GHS is as follows: AHSGE completers – 66; credit-based – 37; Alabama Occupational Diploma – 18; need Reading, Math and another – 9; need Reading and Math – 4; need Reading only – 3; need math only -1, and need Reading plus 1 – 1.

A total of 56 juniors are not eligible for graduation, with 43 still needing to pass just Reading; 29 needing to pass only Math, and 14 needing to pass both Reading and Math. One student has passed Reading and Math, but still needs to pass at least one other part.

In summary, 130.5 juniors at GHS are classified as totally or partially proficient in Reading; 141 are totally or partially proficient in Math, and eight students are on the Alabama Alternate Assessment Track (AAA) with their scores currently unavailable.

Of 165 seniors, Farmer said only 10 have not passed all parts of the AHSGE, with all except one student committed to trying to succeed in that goal rather than returning to school in the fall.

“We have seen a four percent gain in Reading and seven percent in gain in Math in the last two years; however, I am not comfortable predicting this year, with required percentages being raised in AYP,” Farmer said.

Dean agreed with Farmer, saying such calculations were “not an exact science.”

“I think he is correct in saying that any predictions right now would be an educated guess at best,” Dean said.

Farmer stated a number of intervention were being offered at GHS this school year, including remediation courses, after-school tutoring, daily bell ringers for Math, use of a reading coach and classes, and continued collaboration and implementation of school-wide reading initiative. Summer tutoring will also be available, he said.

At McKenzie School, principal Randy Williams said his report was “short and sweet.”

At McKenzie, 10 of the school’s 30 10th graders passed all parts of the graduate exam (30 percent); 18 passed Reading (60 percent) and 26 passed Math (87 percent).

In the 11th grade, 15 students passed all parts (54 percent); 20 students passed Reading (71 percent) and 22 passed Math (79 percent).

With a total of 33 seniors, 27 students will receive an advanced diploma (82 percent); one student, a standard diploma (three percent); four students, a credit-based diploma (12 percent), and one student will get a certificate of attendance (three percent).

“That means 32 of 33 of our seniors will receive a diploma – that’s 97 percent. We are very proud of our seniors and pleased with how our students are doing overall,” Williams said..