State DOE releases list of Alert Schools today

The state Department of Education released its list of Alert Schools today.

The new DOE accountability designations — priority schools, focus schools and reward schools — replace the “needs improvement” label in No Child Left Behind that educators deemed unclear and unhelpful. These three designations target  “Title I” schools that have a high percentage of low-income students. DOE also designated a fourth category, “alert schools,” so the state can focus on struggling schools that do not necessarily have a high percentage of low-income students.

DOE defines Alert Schools are those that need to raise student achievement on statewide assessments in the areas of graduation rate for high schools and subgroup performance and subject performance for elementary and middle schools. Alert Schools can be Title I Schools or Non-Title I Schools.

The criteria used to identify Alert Schools are:

(1) Graduation Alert Schools: High Schools whose subgroup graduation rate falls at or below the third standard deviation compared to the statewide subgroup average

(2) Subgroup Alert Schools: Schools whose subgroup performance on any statewide assessment falls at or below the third deviation compared to the subgroup’s state average

(3) Subject Alert Schools: Schools whose subject area performance on any statewide assessment falls at or below the third deviation compared to the subject’s state average

And here is the list for the metro area: (Email me if you want the statewide list and I will forward. mdowney@ajc.com)

Graduation Alert Schools

Cherokee County, Polaris Evening School
Cobb, Oakwood High School ( Oakwood Digital Academy)
DeKalb, Gateway to College Academy
Fulton, Banneker High
Gwinnett, Phoenix High
Hall, Lanier Career Academy
Henry, Patrick Henry High
Spalding, AZ Kelsey Academy

Subgroup Alert Schools

Clayton, Jonesboro Middle and Eddie White Academy
DeKalb, Idlewood, Woodward and Jolly Elementary Schools
Hall, Tadmore Elementary School

Subject Alert Schools

DeKalb, Midway Elementary School
Atlanta Public Schools, Herndon and Dunbar Elementary Schools

– From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

38 comments Add your comment

HS Public Teacher

May 17th, 2012
9:33 am

Just great. Another label to slap onto public schools.

Why aren’t these labels ever used on private or charter schools? Shouldn’t there be SOME common measuring stick among all schools?

Just askin’.

mift

May 17th, 2012
9:39 am

It is unfortunate that there is not disclosure that many of these schools are alternative schools that serve the hardest to reach populations in an entire school district.

Maureen Downey

May 17th, 2012
9:43 am

@mift, But that’s just the high schools on the list.
Maureen

Dunwoody Mom

May 17th, 2012
9:46 am

Fewer schools than I would have though on this list.

Dunwoody Mom

May 17th, 2012
9:48 am

I’m assuming the Graduation Rate is based on the “old” formula?

mift

May 17th, 2012
9:50 am

Graduation Alerts are high schools and is over half the list.

Lynn

May 17th, 2012
9:57 am

I agree with Mift that the alternative schools on the list need to be noted as such. Having had a child take one class at Oakwood I can attest to the effort and caring they exhibit with their students. The effort went far beyond the child’s home school who wouldn’t allow a drop/add to accommodate the student because they decided to no longer allow drop/adds. Instead of placing roadblocks, Oakwood teachers, administrators and staff went out of their way to assist students and also did much of the work with transcripts, etc that are the responsibility of the home school when the home school failed to act. Oakwood wants students to graduate and will do everything possible to assist the individual student.

hall co native

May 17th, 2012
10:08 am

2 in Hall County – why am I not surprised?

cris

May 17th, 2012
10:14 am

@Hall native – most of the high schools appear to be night or other non-traditional schools that cater to students who can’t or won’t make it in a traditional high school. No surprise on those….

hall co native

May 17th, 2012
10:16 am

True – I guess when you ship/force a large number the at risk kids and minorities to that one school like Hall does it shouldn’t be a surprise.

OMG

May 17th, 2012
10:58 am

It is great when government gets involved is it not? This demands more private and charter schools. Oh by the way what is the definition of ‘insanity”?

Dr. John Trotter

May 17th, 2012
11:12 am

I pity the teachers at these schools. They’re going to catch hell, as if it is their fault. Remember the plan of attack: Blame-the-teacher approach is the only thing that the educrats understand.

HS Public Teacher

May 17th, 2012
11:16 am

@OMG – Your “theme” never changes. And, neither does your (faulty) reasoning.

Because there are a couple of public schools on some list demands more private and charter schools?

Are you saying that there are NO “bad” private or charter schools? LOL!!!!

Truth in Moderation

May 17th, 2012
11:28 am

Maureen,
Where does one get a degree in Government Acronym Services?
Whoever came up with “Alert Schools” really missed the boat. It should have been “Alert School Systems.”

hildymac

May 17th, 2012
11:41 am

@HS Public Teacher — I taught at a terrible private school for about three months before I was “let go” for failure to teach 8th grade math correctly, even though I’m certified 7-12 social studies. They hired outside of certification, and they even had a non-certified teacher teaching kindergarten. A month into the year someone quit, so they combined the 3rd and 4th grade classes and had me teach 8th grade language arts, science, and math. How in the heck parents sent their kids to Brimarsh Academy is beyond me. It was the worst run school I’ve taught in, and I taught at an alternative school.

Heh

May 17th, 2012
11:44 am

Truth — or maybe Georgia Alert Schools.

Truth in Moderation

May 17th, 2012
11:54 am

@Heh
Sounds like you could have a new career!

Jessica

May 17th, 2012
1:23 pm

@ HS Public Teacher, that is what makes them PRIVATE schools. The quality of education provided is the concern of the parents who pay to send their kids there. It is not the business of the community at large, taxpayers, or busybodies with an irrational bias against private education.

Besides, if you are interested in improving the image of public education, you really DON’T want to make a big deal out of measuring private schools by the same yardstick. Private school students generally outperform public school students on standardized tests and college entrance exams, and they spend LESS money per student to get it done. Also, FYI, homeschoolers outperform public AND private school students, and even less money is spent on educating them.

Really

May 17th, 2012
1:47 pm

“Private school students generally outperform public school students on standardized tests and college entrance exams, and they spend LESS money per student to get it done. Also, FYI, homeschoolers outperform public AND private school students, and even less money is spent on educating them.”

Please show your work – I don’t believe this is true at all.

Jessica

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

Enter@Really, check out the National Center for Education Statistics, which is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. Specifically, check out the 2006 NAEP report “Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling.”

@ Jessica

May 17th, 2012
2:39 pm

I’ve taught in both public and private schools. Students at the private schools typically scored higher on tests than those at the public schools. The difference in the scores seen at those schools was not because of differences in the schools or the teachers. There was a difference in the level of involvement of the parents of the students. Personally, I am tired of the whole public vs. private debate.

Jessica

May 17th, 2012
2:40 pm

As for homeschool students, the best source of info is the HSLDA. Check out their “Homeschool Progress Report 2009.”

Ed Johnson

May 17th, 2012
2:49 pm

@Maureen, instead of the statewide list, I am more interested in the statewide data. Got those?

Really

May 17th, 2012
3:13 pm

@ Jessica – thanks! I looked at some of it briefly – got this from that site

“But when school means were adjusted in the HLM analysis, the average for public schools was significantly higher than the average for private schools for grade 4 mathematics and not significantly different for reading”

Like I said….

Tonya C.

May 17th, 2012
3:50 pm

Phoenix High is an open campus alternative high school. How and why should they be on alert? They serve a population that most likely wouldn’t graduate anywhere else.

Spalding County

May 17th, 2012
6:34 pm

AZ Kelsey is an alternative school too, I think.

Ron F.

May 17th, 2012
8:06 pm

Patrick Henry and AZ Kelsey are both alternative schools. Neither will ever be off this list since kids typically don’t do four years there. It’s really not fair to grade a school using this rubric when its mission is to house kids for a year or less anyway. Only a small portion of their population will be there for all four years.

Public HS Teacher

May 17th, 2012
11:31 pm

Jessica – I read your words, but until there is some real PROOF such as a common test of ALL students, then it is just your opinion.

There are many BAD private schools. And, I know if a number of home schooled kids that learn NOTHING.

Until there can be some measurable and common way to compared, it will simply be your opinion.

Dr. Clete Bulach

May 18th, 2012
11:28 am

Most problems with test scores are caused by time lost teaching because teachers have to stop and correct student misbehavior. On average teachers have to stop about 5-10 times each class or with five classes25-50 times a day. Assuming that 1-3 minutes of learning is lost each time, one hour a day is lost from the learning process. One hour a day for 180 days is (180 divided by a 6 hour day) 30 days of instruction lost each year.

I have a book that describes a school reform that reduces student discipline problems and misbehavior by 75%. If you are interested in how this can be accomplished send me an e-mail or visit my website.

Nikole

May 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

@ Dr. Clete Bulach—-What’s your website address?

Good Mother

May 18th, 2012
6:05 pm

To HS TEacher — I disagree with your premise on labeling schools. OF COURSE we should label schools.
In business we rate business. Try the better business bureau.
we rate restaurants and hotels.
Consumer reports “labels” cars.
It’s the method we as a society use to judge what’s good, what needs improving and where it needs improving.
To “hide” without a label is somehting we’ve done for many years and we’ve produced human beings who cannot function n the work place.
and…I really doubt you’d reject the label if it was a label that indicated a successful school.

Long time educator

May 18th, 2012
7:28 pm

@Jessica, “I’ve taught in both public and private schools. Students at the private schools typically scored higher on tests than those at the public schools. The difference in the scores seen at those schools was not because of differences in the schools or the teachers. There was a difference in the level of involvement of the parents of the students. Personally, I am tired of the whole public vs. private debate.”
You are absolutely right; the key difference is the involvement and high expectations of the parents. We say it over and over and apparently no one listens,.All these other reforms are a waste of time. We know what works. We need stricter discipline in the classroom, firmer consequences for not performing (actually retain them), and the support of parents, or at least the community holding the parents accountable if they are “sorry”. Great teaching is important, but not nearly as significant as the factors listed above. Children can learn from a mediocre teacher if there is discipline in the classroom. Without discipline, the very best teacher cannot teach..

anonymousABC

May 19th, 2012
11:51 am

What is going to happen at the “alert” schools?

anonymousABC

May 19th, 2012
9:49 pm

Maureen,
Is this data using the 2011-2012 CRCT results?

ElemPrin

May 20th, 2012
7:23 am

@anonymousABC – these labels are based on 2010-2011 test results, so it is possible that the sub-group that caused a school to be on the list has already shown improvement.

anonymousABC

May 20th, 2012
11:46 am

I agree that one of the differences in private and public schools is parent development. The majority of the time the average IQ level is much higher and the students come from a higher economic background. At the private school near my home, all the kindergarten students had an average of 98 percentile on the ITBS. I teach in an at-risk public school. Last fall, I administered the COGAT test. The average IQ score in my classroom was 85, which is considered low average. My point is that there are a lot of reasons why public and private schools are different.

anonymousABC

May 20th, 2012
11:47 am

development….I meant involvement

Janet McMahan

May 25th, 2012
9:35 am

A lot of the children are drinking water from the Chattahoochee River… That rivers winds through poultry farms in North GA before it gets to Atlanta. The chickens have fluoroquinolones (antibiotics) poured in their drinking water and Arsenic put in their feed. Then the Arsenic turns into Arsenic Trioxide in meat & poop. The “flu” part of the antibiotic is fluorine, which turns into Fluoride. Fluoride lowers IQ. Those two are in the Chattahoochee along with nitrates and phosphates and manganese, etc. An EPD person said that people were better off drinking water that had Uranium in it than drinking water from the Chattahoochee. Both Arsenic & Fluoride lower the IQs of the people drinking it. Perhaps the reason the State of GA is keeping the water report results a “secret” by testing only every 3 years in areas where there are “known” Cancer Clusters being caused by Arsenic in the water, and testing incorrectly for heavy metals, etc is because the water does not meet the Federal Guidelines. Check out this NIH study, my son’s website (Arsenic caused his Cancer) and EPA link.. Every child in that area using Chattahoochee River water needs their water to be filtered for drinking and cooking… and the City needs to stop putting Fluoride in the children’s water. Chlorine is bad enough!! http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/benmcmahan http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.9270 http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm