School deserves credit

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Montevallo Middle School’s inclusion on an Alabama Department of Education list of “persistently lowest-achieving” schools raised more than a few eyebrows in Montevallo this week.

According to Shelby County Schools spokesperson Cindy Warner, community members were disturbed and confused by the news.

After all, this is the same school that has achieved Adequate Yearly Progress five years in a row. In those same five years, Montevallo Middle has shown much progress, both in test scores and in school culture.

We wouldn’t say those traits signify a school deserving a spot on any “lowest-achieving” list.

There are positives to being on this list. Because Montevallo Middle is classified as a Tier III school on the state’s list, the district can apply for funds without any major changes made at the school. Officials at the state level recognize school improvement methods are already in place, and are simply offering funds to help improvement continue.

However, those positives must be weighed against the negatives of having the Montevallo Middle name associated with such a list.

Montevallo Middle stakeholders are working hard to continue positive change. School programs are helping students realize their potential.

As Warner said, “We don’t feel this report paints an accurate picture of what’s really going on at this school.”

Hopefully, state education officials will soon come to the same conclusion.