A high school graduation rate over 90 percent and two schools with straight A’s in achievement highlight the Warren County School System annual report card.
Released earlier this month, the state report card shows the local graduation rate has climbed to 92.3 percent. That’s more than five points higher than the state average of 87.2 percent.
“In the 20 years I’ve been involved with Warren County education, I think it’s the first time our graduation rate has been over 90 percent,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “When you look at that and you look at Hickory Creek and Centertown, which got all A’s in achievement, we have some things to be proud of. Dibrell seems to have done really well too.”
In the category of achievement, which takes into account test scores from 2012, Hickory Creek and Centertown both received straight A’s. The four subjects tested are math, reading/ language, social studies, and science. The state average in all four categories is a B.
Dibrell excelled in the academic growth category which measures how much students are learning from one year to the next. A score of zero in this category means students are learning at their expected pace. A score of -0.3 means students are learning slightly less than what’s expected. A score of 2.7 means they are learning much more than expected.
In academic growth, Dibrell had three A’s and one C.
However, not everything was peachy. Bobby Ray, for example, did very poorly in academic growth. The school received an F in math and D’s in science and reading/ language.
West Elementary also struggled in academic growth. The school received an F in math and D’s in social studies and science.
Morrison didn’t score well in academic achievement. The school had D’s in math and reading/ language.
“When I look at these scores, what I see is continual, sustained growth over the last three years and that’s what we’re for,” said Cox. “We are moving forward and heading in the right direction. Do we have some challenges? Sure we do. ACT scores are one of those challenges and I think we’ve been very public in our need to improve those scores.”
Warren County ACT scores have dropped the past three years, down from 19.5 in 2010 to 18.2 in 2012. The state average this year is 19.6. Warren County ACT scores are well below average in English at 17.7 percent, with the state average at 19.6 percent.
Overall, Warren County is one of 57 school districts classified as an intermediate district by the state. That’s one notch below the top classification of exemplary district.
As for why some local schools appear to be experiencing success, while others appear to be struggling, Cox said there is no clear answer why.
“They are all teaching the same curriculum, but some schools have a little bit different makeup than others,” said Cox. “I know Bobby Ray has more economically disadvantaged students than some other schools. Our job is to try to identify the students’ area of need and put resources in place to address those needs. Just like no two students learn the same, no two schools have the same set of circumstances and the same challenges so we can’t address every school the same way.”