Education Feature State releases “A-F Report Card” for 2015-2016; wide range of results throughout Cullman County | CullmanSense

Education Feature

State releases “A-F Report Card” for 2015-2016; wide range of results throughout Cullman County

ALSDE

CULLMAN - The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE)-established system to monitor the academic achievement of all of Alabama's public schools is called the Alabama Accountability System (AAS). The AAS recently released the long-awaited and controversial 2015-2016 ALSDE “A-F Report Card,” albeit without letter grades assigned. There is a website, however, where parents can see percentile results by state, school district and school: https://ap.alsde.edu/accountability/atof.

Alabama State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance is a vocal opponent of letter grades for schools. Back in November, after working with lawmakers, the state board of education approved revised rules to get the grading system, which is state law, implemented. The revision tabled the A-F letter grades for 2015-2016, but left the delivery of all of the data intact. That data is what has been released. At the end of 2017, however, letter grades are expected to be assigned.

The official purpose of the AAS reads:

"Alabama ACT No. 2012-402, requires the State Superintendent of Education to develop a school grading system reflective of school and district performance. Alabama's goal is to provide another transparent layer of accountability as it relates to Elementary and Secondary education in the State.

This law requires the state to use state-authorized assessments and other key performance indicators that give a total profile of the school or school system, or both, a school’s grade, at a minimum shall be based on a combination of student achievement scores, achievement gap, college and career readiness, learning gains, and other indicators as determined by the State Superintendent of Education to impact student learning and success."

For this report card, AAS rated schools and school systems with a percentile score based on the following:

  1. Learning Gains (for schools that have no grade 12) - Determined based on individual students who demonstrate improvement in reading/math from one year to the next using multiple years of data.
  2. Student Achievement- Determined based on the percentage of proficient students in the area of reading/math utilizing assessments in tested grades.
  3. Graduation Rate (for schools that have grade 12) - Determined based on the percentage of high school students who graduate within 4 or 5 years of first entering the 9th grade.
  4. Local Indicators- Created by individual schools, approved by the ALSDE and required to be tied to student outcomes.

According to the ALSDE, the 2017 report card will also include data on learning gains for schools that include grade 12, attendance, achievement gaps and college and career readiness indicators.

It should be noted that the gains and achievement categories focus specifically on reading and mathematics skills, and do not directly reflect a school's performance in sciences, social studies, athletics, arts, etc.

This year’s findings for Cullman County and City Schools are eye-opening.  Both systems, as collective wholes, exceeded overall state scores; the real story is in the details of individual schools. 

“Cullman City Schools continues to have outstanding success in our students' achievement. Our scores are a reflection of the dedicated work our staff and students do as well as the committed support of our parents and community,” said Cullman City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Susan Patterson. “Our focus will continue to be on daily providing the learning gains our students need to ensure they graduate with character, citizenship and scholarship that will make them successful. This focus is much more than a score, it is the foundation of our school system's vision and the expectation of our community.”

“The Alabama State Department of Education did release a portion of the school report card that they are developing.  It is not complete and it does not assign letter grades as of yet,” said Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette. “While I am not satisfied with our overall achievement, I am optimistic about our improvement and our upward trend.  When compared to other districts of similar size and demographics we continue to be one of the leaders.  While much of this report card data is based on one test, it is important to know that the success of students from Cullman County will always be determined by much more than one score. Cullman County Schools are doing many wonderful things that could never be measured by one test.”      

Following is an alphabetical listing of all public schools in Cullman County, with the exception of West Elementary, which is listed with its sister school, East Elementary, under Cullman.  All point values represent percentages.  For obvious reasons, elementary and middle schools have no graduation rates.  High schools did not display learning gains.

State of Alabama--Learning Gains: 89.08 / Student Achievement: 59.27 / Graduation Rate: 89

 

School Name                            Learning Gains    Student Achievement    Graduation Rate

 

State of Alabama............................89.08........................59.27..............................89

Cold Springs Elementary                 88.3                          63.37                             NA

Cold Springs High                            NA                           38.06                              87

Cullman Middle...............................100...........................86.51.............................NA

Cullman High                                   NA                           71.31                              94

East Elementary                              96.63                        87.39                             NA

West Elementary                             98.38                        83.67                             NA

Fairview Elementary........................ 83.13........................57.58.............................NA

Fairview Middle                               98.41                        74.91                             NA

Fairview High                                   NA                           33.61                             96

Good Hope Elementary....................89.27........................68.2...............................NA

Good Hope Middle                           89.28                        65.29                             NA

Good Hope High                               NA                           32.8                               89

Hanceville Elementary.....................76.42.........................57.4..............................NA

Hanceville Middle                            96.68                        64.01                            NA

Hanceville High                                NA                           38.58                            87

Harmony School                               69.5                          49.13                            NA

Holly Pond Elementary.....................88.7.........................73.47............................NA

Holly Pond Middle                           98.64                        66.8                              NA

Holly Pond High                               NA                           29.17                            91

Parkside Elementary                         100                          74.13                            NA

Vinemont Elementary.......................94.44........................69.18............................NA

Vinemont Middle                              96.08                        69.77                            NA

Vinemont High                                  NA                           39.67                            89

Welti Elementary                               100                          76.75                            NA

West Point Elementary..................not available................69.79............................NA

West Point Intermediate                    79.89                        61.21                           NA

West Point Middle                             94.67                       66.56                            NA

West Point High                                 NA                          41.91                            93

 

The top performing schools in Learning Gains:

  • Elementary - Parkside and Welti tied, with a perfect 100
  • Middle - Cullman, with a perfect 100

The top performing schools in Student Achievement:

  • Elementary - East, with 87.39
  • Middle - Cullman, with 86.51
  • High - Cullman, with 71.31

The top performing high school in Graduation Rate:

  • Fairview, with 96

The poorest performing school in Learning Gains:

  • Both Elementary and Middle - Harmony, with 69.5 (Harmony is a combined K-8 school, and scored lower than any other school in either category.)

The poorest performing schools in Student Achievement:

  • Both Elementary and Middle - Harmony, with 49.13
  • High - Holly Pond, with 29.17

The poorest performing high schools in Graduation Rate:

  • Cold Springs and Hanceville tied, with 87

When each school's two categories are added up for an overall score, the two top performers are both in the Cullman City system: No. 1 Cullman Middle School and No. 2 East Elementary School.

West Point Elementary School is at the bottom of the list, due to an incomplete report.  Holly Pond High School and Harmony School scored lowest among those schools with complete reports.

 

Data from https://ap.alsde.edu/accountability/atof and https://www.alsde.edu/

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