“One of the biggest jumps is that our academic achievement went from 40.8 percent to 52.11 percent.
“That is almost a 12 percent increase,” Daleville High School Principal Josh Robertson told parents and educators attending a parent meeting held at the high school media center Jan. 10.
Robertson held the meeting, which was open to the public, to discuss the recent Alabama State Department of Education school report card grade of “C” received for the second consecutive year by the high school.
No one score or grade tells the whole story of a school, Robertson explained, citing multiple grading factors, including academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, graduation rates and college and career readiness.
Academic achievement is 20 percent of the school’s final grade, academic growth is 30 percent, graduation rate is 30 percent, college and career readiness is 10 percent and chronic absenteeism is 10 percent. “Each one of those pieces plays a role in the final score,” Robertson explained.
The Academic Report Cards are the result the Legislative School Performance Recognition Program Act, created by the state legislature, which legally requires a letter grade assessment to be assigned to each public school. The state law passed in 2012 but was never implemented until two years ago in conjunction with federal law. Forty-four states use a rating system to evaluate the schools’ performance and the A-F grading system is the most commonly used method.
The letter grade is a snapshot of how the school performed during previous years, Robertson said. The test scores and attendance information is gathered from the last academic year, the graduation rate and college and career readiness grade is from two years back.
“Like everything, there is positive and negative,” Robertson said. “We want to put all our information out there so everyonewho knows what’s been going on can interpret all the data.”
DHS has scored 72 percent for the past two years. “We actually maintained our score,” Robertson said.
“Academic achievement is the raw test score data,” Robertson said. “Each test is scored based on how many kids took it.”
In 2017, DHS scored 40.88 in academic achievement and 52.11 percent in 2018.
Academic growth is the measure of how the students improved over the course of the year, Robertson said. “They use the data from the previous year and and measure the growth through the school year from the beginning to the end.” DHS scored 85.51 percent in academic growth in 2017 and 79.56 percent in 2018. “Our math scores actually went up close to 85 percent,” Robertson said. “Math has been a target area of us for quite a number of years so we were very happy to see that.”
Robertson said the graduation rate score received this year is actually based on numbers from the 2016-2017 school year. The score DHS earned in 2017 is 85.80 percent and it is 84 percent on the 2018 report card.
“This is an area that we are really trying to improve on because we really feel like every child should walk out of the school college and career ready,” Robertson said about the college and career readiness score that went from 61 percent in 2017 to 57.14 percent in 2018.
Dual enrollment counts toward college and career readiness, Robertson said, adding that enlistment and delayed entry into the military also adds to that score. “We want more of our students to take advantage of this,” Robertson said outlining dual enrolment courses available. “And we bring every branch of the military in here to see our kids and give them all the different opportunities possible,” he said.
The state does not distinguish between the excused and unexcused absentees for a student, Robertson said. A total of 15 absences—excused or unexcused—constitute “chronic absenteeism.”
The report card is a means of highlighting what we are doing well and where we need to improve.
Additional data and details about the factors used to determine grades are available on the Alabama State Department of Education’s website www.alsde.edu.
“Test scores have been around forever, it’s the tests that change,” Robertson said. “Our scores are not where we want them to be but they are definitely trending in the direction that we want them to.”