Alabama schools make a C

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 9, 2008


This year&8217;s Quality Counts analysis, which evaluates states on chances for educational success they give its students, gave Alabama a grade of C, 42nd in the nation.

The results came from Education Week&8217;s annual national report card. The 8,370 students in the two public school systems, Dallas County and Selma City, are given help in areas of deficiency. Both systems agree they have a way to go. School officials say while they strive to do the best they can, more participation in the academic lives of children from parents at home would help children succeed.

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Both school districts have low student reading levels. Math proficiency and success passing the required High School Graduation Exam can all stem from problems with reading and comprehension.

In Dallas County schools, kindergarten through second grade, 80 percent of the students are what the district calls low-risk, meaning they read at or above their level. Fifteen percent are termed some risk, and only five percent are at-risk, or below where they should be. By sixth grade, 22 percent are at some risk, and 13 percent are at-risk.

Carrington said, to combat the problem, part of the Alabama Reading Initiative requires a 30-minute reading block each day. It helps, but nothing would help more than for students to spend more time reading at home. They have also hired 10 reading coaches, who help teachers by working with students in small groups.