3 Jackson Co. schools fail to make the grade on state test

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Three Jackson County Schools have failed to meet the federal education standards under the No Child Left Behind Act. Preliminary reports show that Gautier Middle School, Kreole Elementary, and Magnolia Junior High did poorly on the state test. Under the law, children at those low performing school can choose to transfer to better schools.

"We all missed the mark. If any of us missed, we all missed. It is a team effort, and I am the superintendent and I am responsible," School Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said.

Rodolfich was disappointed with the low Mississippi Curriculum Two test scores at Gautier Middle school. According to the No Child Left Behind law, Mississippi is required to set achievement goals that all of its schools must meet each year.  Rodolfich said a special education group didn't meet the Adequate Yearly Progress goal for Mathematics.

"There are a total of nine subgroups that you can meet AYP in.  We missed in a subgroup this year for the second consecutive year," Rodolfich said.

In Moss Point, School Superintendent Kim Staley said students at Kreole Elementary and Magnolia Junior High also failed to make passing marks on the test. Parents do have the option of taking their kids out of those schools and enrolling them in better performing schools in the district. But most of the parents say their kids will stay put.

"It is disappointing, but being realistic about it, every child is not going to pass a test,"  Parent Arthur Reggans said.

Reggans' daughter attends Gautier Middle.

"My daughter, I am not going to take her out. She enjoys going and it is one of the best school district," Reggans said.

Moss Point Parent Barbara Nelson said she would like teachers to get more training to prepare students for the tests.

"I feel if they are more abreast of what is on the test, they can be more specific when they are teaching our children," Nelson said.

Superintendent Rodolfich said every school in his district is committed to offering tutoring to pull up the scores, but points out that the low scores don't reflect the quality of the education inside the classrooms.

"We are continuing to work with those young people, but they have made great strides as the teachers there."

Moss Point Superintendent Kim Staley was not available for an interview, but in a written statement he told WLOX News, "Our district is up to the challenge to improve.  We are excited about the implementation of a new software program that provides individualized reading and writing instruction.  We also have other programs that target the other subject areas. "

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