MCPS Superintendent discusses 9 failing schools in Mobile county - FOX10 News | WALA

MCPS Superintendent discusses 9 failing schools in Mobile county

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(FOX10 News) (FOX10 News)

We're learning more about the 9 Mobile County Public Schools listed as "failing" in Alabama.

According to Mobile County Public School Superintendent Martha Peek, schools shouldn't be labeled by one test that is a given once a year. The Alabama Board of Education voted to stop using the Aspire test back in June. The state will now use Scantron, which tests students throughout the year. 

Daisy Ferrell, a freshman at Blount High School, said the ACT Aspire did not prepare her for the ACT.

Ferrell said, "The ACT ASPIRE did not prepare for the ACT and that's the bottom line. The Scantron that we take, I would say is better than the ACT." 

Ferrell scored a 25 out of 36 on the ACT. She owes it all to the staff at Blount High School.  

"They put me in ACT prep classes, where I sit with my ACT teachers and we go over and over all the different subject areas," said Ferrell.

Blount High School along with 8 other Mobile County Public Schools are listed as failing schools in Alabama:

B.C. Rain High School
Booker T. Washington Middle School
Blount High School
Mobile County Training School
Scarborough Model Middle School
Leflore High School
Chastang-Fournier Middle School
Vigor High School
Williamson High School

According to the Alabama Accountability Act, failing schools are in the bottom 6% of public Alabama schools for the 2016-2017 school year based on the state's standardized assessment in reading and math. 

In June, the Alabama Board of Education voted to stop using the Aspire Test because of problems with the company who makes it.

"There were a number of reasons for the Alabama State Board's approval of the Alabama State Department of Education's (ALSDE) decision to use Scantron for the 2017-18 school year and move away from ACT Aspire. Among them: the company’s lack of fidelity to agreements on returning files to schools and ALSDE; incorrectly coded reports; problems that local school districts had with online testing and other communication issues" said Eric Pippins Franklin a spokesperson with the Alabama State Department of Education. 

According to Franklin the board also had concerns with ACT Aspire test's suitability for assessing a student's academic progress. Superintendent Peek said the Aspire doesn't show how multi-dimensional schools are. 

She said, "They are meeting not only the academic standards but also the graduation rates have risen." Alabama students in grades 3-8 will be tested on Scantron three times a year and be rated on their progress from test one to test 3 said MCPS. 

MCPS also said high school juniors will be tested on the ACT instead. Superintendent Peek is optimistic students will test better. "I think the number of schools on that list will decrease," said Peek. 

Although Peek argues a student's success should be measured in multiple ways. This year's failing list has some Mobile residents concerned. 

Lauren Clarke said, "My husband and I just actually bought a new house, we specifically looked at the school ratings, and I don't know specifically about the test, but we specifically looked at the ratings of the schools."

"If we have to go out of district that's what we have to do, I do not want to put her in a failing school," said David Davis.

Parents do have options if their student is part of a failing school, transferring to another district is one of them. You can click here for more information.

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