07/25/06 — Goldsboro High deadline looms

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Goldsboro High deadline looms

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 25, 2006 1:59 PM

On the heels of the announcement that Goldsboro High School was among schools that again did not make adequate yearly progress, Judge Howard Manning last week set a hearing date to review the state's plans to rescue the state's lowest-performing high schools.

The hearing will be Aug. 18.

Earlier this year, Manning threatened to close 17 schools in the state if performance did not show marked improvement. An ultimatum was handed down in March -- schools that had been below the 55 percent passing rate for the past four years must exceed that. Those that did not make that benchmark could be closed in the fall unless principals were replaced and reform measures implemented.

When results for this year's end-of-course test were announced earlier this month, none of the 17 schools had met the standard.

The state's Department of Public Instruction assigned "turnaround teams" to 44 struggling high schools, including the 17 on Manning's list.

A team visited Goldsboro High School in the spring, meeting with school officials to discuss strategies and programs that have and will be introduced.

According to the report, several recommendations were made.

"Goldsboro High School has been making steady progress but the rate of progress needs to be accelerated," the report said.

The school's goal was to raise student progress and achieve a 60 percent performance composite.

The report also said a Teacher Working Conditions survey pointed to several areas where teachers' opinions differed substantially with teachers statewide, particularly in the area of teacher empowerment and their role in decision-making.

"Teacher leadership in partnership with administrative leadership is critical to high performance and may be a leverage point for accelerating student achievement," the report said.

End of course tests should be examined for planning targeted professional development in content skills, the analysis continued.

State officials also recommended that teachers at Goldsboro High School could benefit from developing a clear understanding of how "rigor and engagement can be infused in instruction."