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Jeff Meadors: Schools need higher achievement and accountability

Jeff Meadors

Jeff Meadors

What is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and what does it mean for students?

In these competitive admissions times, four-year colleges seek students with high aptitude for college completion, particularly as state and federal legislators begin the conversation of tying college funding to student retention and completion, thus college graduation rates.

I've seen this coming. I have strong ideas about advisement, retention and college completion that don't risk turning four-year schools into degree mills, but that's for another day.

The College Board website succinctly describes the SAT as follows: "The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are a suite of tools designed to assess your academic readiness for college. These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students. The SAT and SAT Subject Tests keep pace with what colleges are looking for today, measuring the skills required for success in the 21st century."

But is it fair to students to offer one public school option if it is characterized by lagging aptitude? And will we refuse to offer those students a way out of failure in the face of evidence of low percentages of HOPE scholarship eligibility?

Locally SAT scores show an increase in test-takers at Alcovy High but a 10-point drop in critical reading and a 12-point drop in math.

Eastside High increased test-takers realizing an 8-point increase in critical reading and a 12-point increase in math.

Newton High saw a decrease in test-takers but a 15-point increase in reading and a 4-point increase in math.

The following fiscal year 2012 scores represent local high schools in SAT critical reading where a score of 800 is possible: Alcovy (445), Newton (443), Eastside (489), Morgan High (487), Social Circle (495), Heritage (500), Rockdale (458), Salem (449), Walnut Grove (465), Monroe Area (427), Loganville (465) and Jasper at 457.

Enter math scores, also with a possible score of 800, and the following is current: Alcovy (428), Newton (430), Eastside (470), Morgan (497), Social Circle (464), Heritage (495), Rockdale (454), Salem (428), Walnut Grove (465), Monroe Area (425), Loganville (469) and Jasper High at 454.

Putnam County High realized an SAT reading of 500 with a math mean of 496. Oconee County High produced a 523 mean in both SAT reading and math, and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology rose to a reading SAT of 639 and math of 680.

So how do schools with decreasing scores explain them and will new local school plans for improvement offer accountability to taxpayers, many of whom support options for students locked in schools with a zero tolerance policy for just about everything except low student achievement?

Zero-based budgeting placing abundant and exclusive priority to high-quality classroom teachers is a start.

Next, systems must appoint principals who are veteran instructional leaders at their level from day one. We cannot afford background knowledge to be built on the backs of students who deserve successful places called school.

Jeff Meadors may be reached at pjeffreymeadors@gmail.com

Comments

tomgahunter 1 year, 5 months ago

Well put, keep up the good job.

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Fetacheese 1 year, 5 months ago

Very well stated. Numbers don't lie and the truth of the matter is something needs to be done. HOW? Well we need to find a solution. Because we are looking at our future and the kids deserve better.

Strong leadership and we do need principals with a background in that particular area or we end up with a problem at Alcovy.

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10fan 1 year, 5 months ago

Between the drama, saga and bad press on NCSS and these numbers, this is the EXACT reason my child will be attending a neighboring county school.

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Crazyhooker99 1 year, 5 months ago

Thank you Mr Meadors for the breakdown of the numbers. As always great column have one other thing to add. Take that Hunter Hall.

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gsm7476 1 year, 5 months ago

You know old GSM is not a rocket scientist but even I can see that we need to go over to Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology to see what they are doing right and bring it home to the old NCSS. One more thing they do not have is old little e. It’s time for the Big R vote for Ricky. I’m GSM7476 and I approve this message.

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OnToday 1 year, 5 months ago

Steps to improving the situation:

Swing and a drive..... way back.... IT'S OUTTA HERE! Home run!

Steps to get to where we need to be:

  1. Pray for Mathews' retirement and then pray for a proactive, strong superintendent who will not be bullied by the BOE or Chamber.

  2. Vote for BOE members like Corley who are concerned about the schools and school improvement and not concerned with protecting friends or reputations.

  3. Pray the new superintendent and BOE members work toward accountability and remove those who do not show significant improvement- and that includes teachers AND administrators.

It's pretty simple folks.

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Satan69 1 year, 5 months ago

I completely 200% approve this message. GSM7476 i approve your message as well . @ Ontoday those steps seem easy email enough do you think everyone can handle it? I mean Hunter Hall sure wouldn't and we know the rest of the Boe. Members can't. And if we aren't careful we will have ole steph up in there practicing lawyer and calling us all hypocrites. Hahaha.

We need prayer mama.

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ThePublicGood 1 year, 5 months ago

What in the world is going on at Alcovy High School to cause these huge drops in SAT Math and Reading??????? I don't care how the super or the DOE spin this high school this SAT is a national score and 10 to 15 point DROPS are firing offenses.

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Shart15 1 year, 5 months ago

Here is a sample of what's going on fights, strip teases. From the dance team, poor administration, and many many other things that have their attention.

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Billy 1 year, 5 months ago

Moving to Griffin in late December, leaving the numerous problems of Newton behind. I was a Clayton county resident all my life until the late 90s, before the botttom fell out there. If you care about Newton, don't let it happen here...

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Billy 1 year, 5 months ago

Moving to Griffin; hope you guys can prevent what happened in the school system in my native Clayton County from happening here!

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Billy 1 year, 5 months ago

Good luck, JM; you're going to need it. Let's see if this gets posted, unlike my last two posts...

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Tairuna 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes good luck to Jeff Meadors. HA. this man had alot. Of support.

@Billy I careally about. NEWTON. Hopefully things work out for you goodluck.

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