Let’s band together to support schools

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

Three Ferriday schools have been labled as needing improvement based on test scores released last week.

Let’s put those results into perspective. Louisiana has new, more stringent standards for designating which schools need improvement: the bar was at 45 in 2003 and is now at 60. Louisiana’s standard are higher than those in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Ferriday Upper and Lower Elementary schools and Ferriday Junior High all scored in the mid to upper 50s, just shy of the new standards. All raised their scores from the previous year.

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What district officials are already doing is working, and we need to allow teachers and administrators to continue their efforts.

District officials worked hard last year to improve students’ scores, extending the school day voluntarily to allow more time for remedial studies on basic skills.&160;

Parents have the right to move their children to another school in the district if they choose, but we agree with district officials that parents should take their time in making such a decision.

Teachers and administrators will have a state-designed plan to follow this year to help raise test scores. That means greater attention to basics and more focused instruction for students.&160;

Still, missing the mark on the scores could be a blow to teacher and student morale. We hope they will focus on what they did accomplish &045; raising scores &045; and what they can accomplish this year.

What can we do to help? Parents can make sure students arrive on time and attend all classes. They can help with homework in the evenings and get to know their children’s teachers. The public can support schools by volunteering time to tutor or by simply being positive about what our children can accomplish with the right tools.

How our children perform in school affects all of us and our community’s future; we need to support the public schools and their hard-working students and teachers.