More light shed on state school report card

Published 1:40 am Friday, January 4, 2019

Following the initial dataset released in the final week of 2018, the Alabama State Department of Education has released the entirety of the 2017-18 Alabama State Report Card.

Each school in the Chambers County and Lanett school systems, and the systems themselves, were given a letter grade based on how they scored in categories including academic achievement, chronic absenteeism, progress in English Language Proficiency, College and Career readiness and graduation rate.

While the initial letter grades have been previously reported, the full report gives a look at what each individual school scored in these categories. Each category is scored from one to 100 and given a letter grade similar to those given to students. The report card breaks down how much “weight” each of the categories holds in determining the schools and their systems’ final score.

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The systems themselves showed improvements from years past, with Chambers County receiving an overall grade of 79, up from last years’ 76. Lanett scored an overall 71, similarly overcoming last year’s grade of 68. Broken down, the Chambers County school system scored a 58.74 in Academic Achievement, 88.85 in academic growth, 86 in graduation rate, 63 in college and career readiness, 14 in chronic absenteeism and 37.5 in progress in English language proficiency.

Lanett scored an overall grade of 71 which breaks down to 44.52 in Academic Achievement, 78.98 in academic growth, 86 in graduation rate, 53.97 in college and career readiness, 13.60 in chronic absenteeism and 56.52 in progress in English language proficiency.

Key differences in these scores come from the number of schools in each system, with Lanett only having three compared to Chambers County’s 10.

Top performers in each category are spread throughout the schools and systems. ALSDE describes the academic achievement category as being based on the percentage of proficient students in areas of reading and math. The highest academic achievers in the two respective school systems were Huguley Elementary in Chambers County with a 75.75 and W.O. Lance in Lanett with a score of 46.

Academic growth is based on previous years achievement scores, and Huguley Elementary showed the most improvement with a score of 96. Lanett Junior High grew the most in its system with a score of 91.

College and Career readiness grades are related only to high schools and are based off of several indicators, including benchmarks on ACT scores, qualifying scored on AP or IB exams, Military enlistment rates, postsecondary credit earned in high school and approved industry credentials.

Lanett High school received a grade of 53.97 in this category, while Valley High received a grade of 68.88 compared to LaFayette High’s 48.

As for graduation rates at these same schools, which are determined by the percentage of students who graduate within 4 years of entering ninth grade, Chambers County schools were neck-in-neck with Valley’s 87, just edging out LaFayette High’s 85. Lanett High School’s percentage was shown to be 86.

Finally, Chronic absenteeism is based on the percent of students in grades k-12 who missed 15 or more days including excused and unexcused absences. Lanett High had the highest amount of cases in their system with a grade of 20.93. In Chambers County, Valley High School students missed the most days, scoring 19.74 in this category.