MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – High schools dominate Alabama’s new list of failing schools as tenth-graders struggled under the new ACT Aspire test.
There are more than 50 high schools on the list of 75 failing schools released Thursday by the Alabama Department of Education.
In Mobile County, the list includes:
- B.C. Rain High School
- Blount High School
- Theodore High School
- LeFlore Magnet School
- Vigor High School
- Williamson High School
- Booker T. Washington Middle School
- Scarborough Middle School
State law requires the department to designate schools in the bottom 6 percent of standardized test scores as failing.
Tenth-graders took the ACT Aspire test for the first time in 2016. Only 32 percent of tenth-graders scored proficient in reading. Eighteen percent scored as proficient in math.
Students in failing schools can transfer to another public school if the school will accept the student. Families are also eligible for a tax credit, and state-backed scholarships, to help pay for private school.
A spokesperson for Mobile County Public Schools issued the following statement to News Five on Thursday:
Mobile County Public Schools teachers and officials worked hard this past year and were able to decrease the number of “failing schools” from 12 to 8. We focused on reforming our middle schools and have seen progress.
We were disappointed this week, though, to see several high schools included on the new list. As is the case across the state, the list is overwhelmingly made up of high-poverty high schools. These schools were placed on the list solely due to student scores on the first administration of a new test for 10th graders, the ACT Aspire, last April. This test does not count as part of a student’s grade nor is it required for graduation, and we believe students do not take the test seriously. Our schools are working hard and we believe those scores will increase when the test is administered again in April.
To get a true picture of how a school is performing, we encourage parents and the public to look at more than just a test score. Our students are graduating college and career ready. Our graduation rate has increased, the number of students earning college credit while still in high school has increased, and students are earning more scholarship dollars and career credentials than ever before. We will continue to work on the academics of our high schools through our Signature Academies and expect to see improvement.
Regarding Scarborough Model Middle: We do not believe this school should have been placed on the list and we have been in contact with the state to have it removed. We reconstituted the school staff over the summer, and added teachers, academic programs and electives. By state rules, reconstituted schools are not to be included on the list.”
The failing school list can be viewed at: http://www.alsde.edu/dept/data/Pages/aaa-all.aspx.