Butler County school’s state report card scores

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) released the 2023 School Report Cards on Dec. 14. Greenville Elementary School received an overall score of a 76 (C), Greenville Middle School received a 73 (C), Greenville High School scored a 59 (F), Georgiana School received an overall score of 72 (C), and McKenzie School scored a 90 (A). 

According to the ALSDE the state report card only includes the indicators of academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rates, college and career readiness, chronic absenteeism, and progress in English language proficiency in determining the number scores and letter grades. 

Butler County Superintendent Joseph Eiland said that while the overall school system score remains the same at a C, the board is unhappy with the decline in scores at individual schools.  

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“Our scores are a result of what I feel are still unacceptable levels of student attendance,” Eiland said. “We showed a decrease in chronic absenteeism; but still, too many students do not attend school regularly which negatively impacts growth and achievement data.” 

Eiland said some of the school’s veered from the plan of focusing on overall growth to focusing on achievement.

“As a result of this change in focus, we actually demonstrated increases in achievement but our growth percentages dropped below 100% in all but one school, McKenzie,” he said. “We have reviewed all data and each school leadership team is committed to following our five-year plan with fidelity.”

Eiland said the Board feels certain scores will increase on the next state report cards.

Jennifer McCreary Shealy, a Greenville High School (GHS) teacher and Tiger parent, explained that the report card scores can be misleading to the school’s actual overall performance due to what the indicators are based off of. 

“The academic achievement score is based solely on the Junior class’s March ACT (American College Testing) scores,” Shealy said. “The ACT is the only indicator used for academic proficiency. Typically, students who don’t ‘plan to go to college’ do not take the ACT seriously. The academic growth score is deceptive as it is based solely on the Junior class’s ACT compared to their sophomore year Pre-ACT score.”

Shealy said she wanted to clarify that a “failing school” does not mean terrible teachers and students who are failing classes. 

“I trusted GHS to prepare my children academically and GHS did,” Shealy said. “I want you to know as parents and a community, that the education and opportunities are there for your child if they will take it. If you expect excellence from your kids they can achieve that at GHS. We are a failing school because too many kids don’t have a vision for the great things they could be, and that makes me sad and motivates me everyday.”

To view the ALSDE Report Cards and individual indicator scores visit the website at www.alabamaachieves.org.