NP Successful Schools

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 16, 2011

North Panola achieves two ‘Successful’ schools

By Billy Davis

Promising student test scores at North Panola High, and at Crenshaw Elementary, have catapulted those schools into a much-envied category: “Successful.”

“There is more work to do but it’s a step in the right direction,” Robert King, the latest state conservator to oversee the school district, said this week.

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King has hinted in past weeks that North Panola schools showed a jump in student achievement after state testing was completed last year. But he was prevented from describing the promising news because test results were embargoed by the Mississippi Department of Education.

The school rankings, from best to worst, are Star School, High Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At Risk of Failing, and Failing.

King said Greenhill Elementary moved from Failing to Academic Watch and Como Elementary remained at Academic Watch.

North Panola Junior High, in Como, remained a Low-Performing School.

King said he was unsure what specific grade improvements at the high school and at Crenshaw Elementary pushed the schools to Successful.

North Panola’s testing coordinator was attending an educational conference this week and could not be reached for comment.

North Panola Schools has been under the authority of a state-appointed conservator since 2008, with a fourth conservator, King, now overseeing the struggling school district.

The improvement at North Panola High marks an apparent turnabout there since that school’s low-performing test scores helped trigger the takeover by the Miss. Department of Education

Promising news has been trickling from North Panola High for some time: last August, The Panolian reported that high schoolers showed a jump in “proficient” scores in English II, algebra and biology.

Mississippi public high school students take part in state testing known as Subject Area Tests in which “proficient” is the top ranking.

Mississippi public school students in grades 3-8 take the MCT-2 each spring, which gauges their progress during the school year.