An apple to all who worked to meet AYP

&8220;Education: a debt due from present to future generations.&8221;

&8212;George Peabody

Seven Shelby County Schools are no longer under School Improvement Status (part of the No Child Left Behind Act) because of great improvements on standardized tests, graduation rates and the like. It is a tremendous accomplishment and a sign our school system is getting even better.

The merits of the No Child Left Behind Act can be, at times, hard to discern, and its methods of measurement too fixed to adequately mark all real improvements. But, perhaps, that is part of what makes this accomplishment even greater; our schools made significant improvement in spite of difficult challenges.

Seven of our schools have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on state assessments for the second consecutive year.

Students have studied hard and, thankfully, most of them made the choice to stay in school and get an education. Parents have sacrificed to make certain their children were prepared. They have helped children with homework, congratulated them on a good test score and encouraged them to reach their goals. They deserve our thanks for what they have helped accomplish.

Teachers have worked long hours, made exhaustive lesson plans, taken time outside the classroom to help students who are struggling, gone to continuing education courses and generally created environments where children are encouraged to reach their potential.

School administrators, school board members and support staff made certain teachers and students had the tools necessary to improve learning. They made certain library shelves where stacked, lunches were warm and nutritious, goals were clearly communicated and each step toward improvement, both great and small, was celebrated.

Our superintendent of education, Randy Fuller, set the stage for the improved results by clearly communicating a vision of what our school system seeks to achieve and then held accountable those responsible. Then he rolled up his sleeves and went to work.

He and his team know that five local schools did not meet the measuring stick of the No Child Left Behind Act, and they most certainly are working hard to change that.

These folks deserve our thanks for a job well done