Leader Blues

Friday, October 09, 2009

TOP STORY >> State may take over four area schools

Leader staff writer

Four local schools are among 58 failing schools statewide that could come under state control.

Those four — Sylvan Hills Middle School, Jacksonville High School, North Pulaski High School and Northwood Middle School — are part of the Pulaski County Special School District.
When schools have failed to make adequate progress on their benchmark or end-of-course test scores for five years or more, they are considered to be in the “state-directed” phase of improvement.

The state has the authority to appoint a school-improvement director to steer the school toward improved student performance under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Outside of those four schools, most others in the area are achieving appropriate student progress or are much lower on the school improvement list.

Of the 19 PCSSD schools in the area, five are achieving or meeting standards, but the rest need to improve.

On the other hand, nine of Cabot’s 13 schools are meeting standards.

The state Education Department said Friday that 498 schools are classified as achieving, 176 schools are on alert, 140 are classified as targeted improvement schools, 113 schools are classified as whole-school improvement schools, 32 are listed as targeted intensive improvement schools, 64 are whole-school intensive improvement schools and 58 are classified as state-directed schools.

In the county district, Bayou Meto, Clinton, Warren Dupree, Pinewood, Arnold Drive and Sherwood elementary schools are all achieving or meeting standards for 2009 based on the benchmark exams.

Sylvan Hills High School is in targeted intensive school improvement year five. Murrell Taylor and Jacksonville Elementary schools are in whole school intensive improvement year four. Sylvan Hills Elementary is in whole school improvement year two, while Oakbrooke Elementary is in target improvement year two.

Harris Elementary School is in year one of school improvement but is making gains. Cato Elementary is on alert, meaning without improvement, it will be on the state oversight list next year.

Both North Pulaski High School and Northwood Middle School are in state-directed year six. Jacksonville High School is also in state-directed year six, while Sylvan Hills Middle School is in state-directed year seven of school improvement.


Eastside, Central, Westside, Southside, Northside, Ward Central, Magness Creek and Stagecoach elementary schools are listed in the 2009 report as achieving and meeting the standards.

Cabot Junior High North, Cabot Middle School South and Cabot High School are on alert, meaning if they fail to make adequate progress on the benchmark and end-of-course exams next year, they could be placed on the school improvement list.

Cabot Junior High South is in targeted school improvement Year Two and Cabot Middle School North is on targeted improvement year three.


Beebe High School is on alert for the 2009 year, meaning if it doesn’t make adequate progress on its benchmark and end-of-course exams next year, the school could end up on the improvement list.

Both Beebe Middle School and Beebe Junior High are on targeted improvement year two. Beebe Elementary and Beebe Intermediate are on target improvement year one.


Lonoke Middle School is listed as achieving, meaning it’s meeting standards.

Lonoke Elementary and Lonoke Primary schools are in target improvement year three. Lonoke High School is in whole school improvement year three.


Sidney Deener, McRae and Westside elementary schools, along with Southwest Middle School and Searcy High School, are all achieving or making adequate progress on the state’s benchmark or end-of-course exams.

Ahlf Junior High School is in targeted improvement year three.