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New data shows Enterprise schools closing achievement gap

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 2:15 pm | Updated: 1:30 pm, Fri Nov 2, 2012.

Enterprise City Schools is making giants leaps toward closing the achievement gap between various sub-groups of students.

Dixie Lavender, the system’s testing and accountability coordinator, gave a presentation on recently received data at an Oct. 30 meeting of the Enterprise Board of Education.

The presentation explained recent results form the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.

The data, released Oct. 15 by PARCA showed Enterprise City Schools was one of four systems in Alabama to have 100 percent of its third through eighth graders earning a Level IV on the Alabama Reading and Math Test also achieve 10 or more points above the state benchmark.

In the PARCA report, a dark green indicator signifies Level IV student groups within a system earning 10 or more points above the state benchmark.

Enterprise had dark green indicators in Level IV subgroups for math among black and white students in grade three through six as well as white students in the eighth grade, reading among white students grades three through six, and black students in grades five and six, reading among Hispanic students grade four through eight and reading among Hispanic students grade four through eight.

The study also broke down poverty and non-poverty student subgroup scores.

In the study, gold indicators are given in comparisons of subgroups when the difference between those subgroups is reduced.

Enterprise received gold indicators for math scores among white versus black students in grades three through seven, reading among black versus white students in grades five through seven, math among white versus Hispanic students in grades three through eight and reading among white versus Hispanic students in grade four through eight.

Enterprise also received two additional gold indicators for closing gaps between poverty and non-poverty students in both reading and math, while also showing growth above the state benchmark in both categories.

“This data confirms that all students can gain a high level of achievement and it also denounced the idea that socio-demographic and socio-economic level is a number one indicator of educational success,” Lavender said. “We’ve learned that demographics do not determine the destiny of our children.”

Light red indicators are give when a subgroup is one to nine points below the state bench, which Enterprise received only in the category of reading among Hispanic students in grade three.

Madison County Schools, Saraland City Schools and Muscle Shoals City Schools are the only systems that surpassed Enterprise in this years’ data in terms of the number of gold indicators, which does not account for the number of schools per system.

“Madison County has 21 schools that fall in the three through eight category, where we only have nine,” Lavender said.

In statewide comparisons of the number of dark green indicators received, Enterprise was second only to Cullman City Schools.

According to Lavender, Enterprise has been making strides toward closing the achievement gap through several direct changes.

“We’ve been offering assistive technology in all classrooms, along with highly qualified professionals,” she said. “We’ve put emphasis on individual instruction for English language learners by administrated by highly qualified instructors.”

Superintendent Aaron Milner said these recent achievements wouldn’t be possible without the teachers and support staff at all of the schools in the Enterprise system.

“As we say it’s great news in the boardroom, there is a teacher getting it done in the classroom,” Milner said. “We appreciate the job that they and our support staff are doing.”

 

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