Tuscaloosa City Schools superintendent responds to schools being - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa City Schools superintendent responds to schools being on failing schools list

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The Alabama Department of Education has released their list of failing schools. The Tuscaloosa City School System has one less school on the list than last year.

By being considered a failing school, students can transfer to a different non failing public school or private school.

After a year of hard work, Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul McKendrick isn't holding back on how he feels about Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School not being on the failing school list. “I was ecstatic because last year I was so upset that they got on the list because I thought that they didn't deserve it,” McKendrick added.

Thinking outside of the box, additional professional development, and emphasis on literacy were the keys to getting MLK Jr. off the list.

 “It has validated what we have been doing and that is working collaboratively, providing teachers with professional development. Providing students with the opportunity to do things that we don't traditionally do, thinking that there is no box,” MLK Jr. Elementary School Principal Janet Sherrod said.

But Westlawn Middle School and Central High School, both take students from MLK Jr. Elementary, and they are still considered failing. McKendrick said the strategies that were proven successful here at MLK will also be applied at Westlawn and Central.

Last year 108 students transferred from all three of what the state deemed failing schools. The Superintendent said he doesn't like the term the Alabama Department of Education is using.

“That label can stick with you, and I just don't believe that you label schools because of the work that they put forward, because of the number of challenges that a lot of our children bring with them,” McKendrick added.

With their eyes on the prize, the Superintendent believes both Westlawn and Central will be off the failing schools list in the next few years.

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