From Trussville Tribune staff reports
The Alabama Department of Education has released a list of the state’s failing schools in accordance with the Alabama Accountability Act of 2015. Despite have only the fifth highest enrollment of school systems in Alabama, Birmingham City Schools led the state with 18 failing schools.
With a total of 42 schools in the system, the failing schools make up 43 percent of all Birmingham City Schools.
In the Trussville Tribune coverage area, Jefferson County, St. Clair County, and Trussville City school systems did not have any schools listed on the failing school list.
Countywide, Bessemer and Fairfield city school systems also had a combined total of six schools on the failing list.
Statewide, the list has increased from 66 failing schools last year, to 76 this year. You can see the entire list for the state of Alabama here.
Failing schools rank in the lowest 6 percent in statewide test scores. Students at failing schools on the list are allowed to transfer to non-failing public or private schools and their families are eligible for a $3500 tax credit to help pay for tuition. There are also several scholarship granting organizations to help students pay for private school tuition.
Last spring, the state legislature passed an amendment that changed the way the list is compiled. Instead of using three out of the last six years’ worth of data, the Alabama State Department of Education used last year’s ACT Aspire and ACT Plan test scores which measured reading and math. The ACT Aspire test is given in grades three through eight and the ACT Plan test is given to students in the tenth grade.
In 2014-15, only 14.76 percent of third graders meet or exceed Reading standards system wide. That is a decline from the 2013-14 school year when 17.03 percent of students reached the benchmark.
The percentage of third graders who met or exceeded standards in Math for 2014-15 was 29.17 percent, slightly lower than the previous year.
For eighth graders in the Birmingham system, only 29,69 percent of all students systemwide met or exceeded Reading standards in 2014-15, down from 32.15 percent in 2013-14.
The percentage of eighth graders who met or exceeded standards in Math for 2014-15 was 8.64 percent, down about 5 percentage points from the previous year.
Among all tenth graders in the Birmingham system, only 5.42 percent of students met or exceeded standards in Math.
Birmingham City Schools listed as failing
Bush Hills Academy
Charles A Brown Elementary School
George Washington Carver High School
Central Park Elementary School
Green Acres Middle School
Hemphill Elementary School
Jackson-Olin High School
Parker High School
WE Putnam Middle School-Magnet
Smith Middle School
South Hampton K-8
Arrington Middle School
Washington Elementary School
Jones Valley Middle School
West End Academy
Woodlawn High School-Magnet