Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

TOP STORY >> Schools graded on their teaching

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Four area schools were among the worst performing in the state in the 2004-2005 school year, according to the recently released School Performance Index.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas calculate the index, which takes into account benchmark test scores and a host of student and community traits and resources.

The poor performing schools include:

• Jacksonville Middle School, ranking 1,099 out of 1,116 with a School Performance Index of 75 (the national average is 100).
• England High School ranked 1,103 with an SPI of 74.1.
• McRae High School ranked 1,104 with an SPI of 73.1. The school has since been converted to a middle school (5th and 6th grade).
• England Middle School, ranked 1,109 out of 1,116, with an SPI of 68.3.
Searcy had the best performing schools in the area, followed by Cabot and Lonoke.
Overall, the School Performance Index finds, after adjusting for student characteristics, Arkansas schools, as a whole, are performing slightly better than the national average. The national average is 100 and Arkansas’ average is 100.33.
Altheimer Unified School District had the top SPI in the state at 147.47, nearly 48 points above the national average of 100.
Searcy School District was in the top 20 performing school districts in the state with a SPI of 111.68.
According to the report, accountability tests, like the state’s bench mark exams, are often used to assess the quality of schools, but the tests, by themselves, don’t tell the whole story. The UA researchers said test-score results are only partially a reflection of the quality of school instruction; they are also partially a reflection of the advantages and disadvantages that students bring to school.
The researchers developed the School Performance Index “in an attempt to disentangle school quality from student advantages and disadvantages.”

PCSSD
Baker Interdistrict Elementary School in Little Rock had the highest SPI in the district at 128.7 (with 100 being the national average). Locally, the best were Arnold Drive and Clinton elementary schools. The worst performing score be-longed to Jacksonville Middle School.
• Arnold Drive Elementary had an SPI of 112.5 and a ranking of 180 out of 1,116.
• Bayou Meto Elementary had an SPI of 100 and a ranking of 573.
• Cato Elementary had an SPI of 107.5 and a ranking of 304.
• Clinton Elementary had an SPI of 112.3 and a ranking of 187.
• Harris Elementary had an SPI of 80.9 and a ranking of 1,062.
• Homer Adkins Elementary had an SPI of 89.5 and a ranking of 924.
• Jacksonville Elementary had an SPI of 87.8 and a ranking of 968.
• Jacksonville High School had an SPI of 100 and a ranking of 572.
• Jacksonville Junior High had an SPI of 80.5 and a ranking of 1,065.
• Jacksonville Middle School had an SPI of 75 and a ranking of 1,099.
• Murrell Taylor Elementary had an SPI of 91.2 and a ranking of 870.
• North Pulaski High School had an SPI of 91 and a ranking of 878.
• Northwood Middle School had an SPI of 84.4 and a ranking of 1,034.
• Oakbrooke Elementary had an SPI of 109.2 and a ranking of 264.
• Pinewood Elementary had an SPI of 111.4 and a ranking of 212.
• Sherwood Elementary had an SPI of 101.4 and a ranking of 526.
• Sylvan Hills Elementary had an SPI of 105.7 and a ranking of 363.
• Sylvan Hills High School had an SPI of 91.2 and a ranking of 871.
• Sylvan Hills Middle School had an SPI of 95.5 and a ranking of 759.
• Tolleson Elementary had an SPI of 108 and a ranking of 295.
• Warren Dupree Elementary had an SPI of 99.6 and a ranking of 595.
Overall, the school district had an SPI of 98.23 and was ranked 179th out of 255 districts.

SEARCY
Only one of Searcy’s schools — Searcy High School — was not above the national average. Sidney Deener and Westside elementary schools were substantially above the national average.
• Ahlf Junior High School had an SPI of 103 (with 100 being the national average) and a ranking of 459 out of 1,116.
• McRae Elementary had an SPI of 112.5 and a ranking of 179.
• Searcy High School had an SPI of 97.3 and a ranking of 690.
• Sidney Deener Elementary had an SPI of 124.8 and a ranking of 46.
• Southwest Middle School had an SPI of 109.9 and a ranking of 249.
• Westside Elementary had an SPI of 121.4 and a ranking of 56.
The district, overall, had an SPI of 111.68 and was ranked 18th in the state.

BEEBE
In the Beebe School District, McRae High School had the worst performance while Beebe Inter-mediate had the best score.
According to the study:
• Beebe Elementary had an SPI of 97.1 (with 100 being the national average) and a ranking of 683 out of 1,116.
• Beebe High School had an SPI of 99.2 and a ranking of 617.
• Beebe Intermediate had an SPI of 105 and a ranking of 380.
• Beebe Junior High School had an SPI of 95.9 and a ranking of 747.
• Beebe Middle School had an SPI of 94.7 and a ranking of 781.
• McRae Elementary had an SPI of 104.1 and a ranking of 411.
• McRae High School had an SPI of 73.1 and a ranking of 1,104.
Overall, the district had an SPI of 97.45 and was ranked 190 out of 255 districts.

CABOT
Magness Creek Elementary had the best score in the Cabot School District while the Academic Center for Excellence had the worst ranking in the district.
• Academic Center of Excel-lence had an SPI of 88.2 (with 100 being the national average) with a ranking of 956 out of 1,116 schools.
• Cabot High School had an SPI of 94.2 and a ranking of 795.
• Cabot Junior High North had an SPI of 91.8 and a ranking of 850.
• Cabot Junior High South had an SPI of 96 and a ranking of 742.
• Cabot Middle School North had an SPI of 98.2 and a ranking of 662.
• Cabot Middle School South had an SPI of 107.4 and a ranking of 306.
• Central Elementary had an SPI of 106.6 and a ranking of 334.
• Eastside Elementary also had an SPI of 106.6 and a ranking of 331.
• Magness Creek Elementary had an SPI of 108.3 and a ranking of 287.
• Northside Elementary had an SPI of 104.7 and a ranking of 393.
• Southside Elementary had an SPI of 95.9 and a ranking of 744.
• Ward Central Elementary had an SPI of 101.3 and a ranking of 529.
• Westside Elementary had an SPI of 107.1 and a ranking of 314.
Cabot School District, overall, had an SPI of 100.36 and was ranked 155th in the state out of 255 districts.

LONOKE
Lonoke Elementary had the highest score in the district while Lonoke High School had the lowest.
• Lonoke Elementary had an SPI of 113.1 (with 100 being the national average) with a ranking of 167 out of 1,116.
• Lonoke High School had an SPI of 96.3 with a ranking of 733.
• Lonoke Middle School had an SPI of 98.2 with a ranking of 659.
• Lonoke Primary School had an SPI of 105.4 with a ranking of 370.
Overall, the district had an SPI of 104.42 and ranked 90th out of 255 school districts in the state.
CARLISLE
• Carlisle Elementary had an SPI of 99.8 and a ranking of 584.
• Carlisle High School had an SPI of 95.3 and a ranking of 764.
The district had an overall SPI of 98.32 and was ranked 177th out of 255 school districts.

ENGLAND
• England Elementary had an SPI of 97.1 and a ranking of 699.
• England Middle School had an SPI of 68.3 and a ranking of 1,109.
• England High School had an SPI of 74.1 and a ranking of 1,103.
At an overall SPI of 84.76, only ten districts in the state were ranked lower than England.