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July 22, 2004 Extra Credit
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July 22, 2004

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July 21
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"We Screamed and Yelled and Cried and Laughed"

Yesterday’s Extra Credit highlighted North Carolina’s increase of schools meeting state defined academic benchmarks for the 2003-2004 school year. Today’s edition highlights one of these schools that met state standards for the first time. When Jones Elementary School did not meet standards in the 2002-2003 school year, they received additional aid and a new teacher from the school district and implemented programs to raise student achievement. The following are excerpts from a recent article in the Asheville Citizen-Times highlighting Jones Elementary School’s success:

"Jones Elementary School teachers got a little emotional after learning their school met new federal education standards for the first time. ‘We screamed and yelled and cried and laughed,’ fourth grade teacher Susan Lifchez said Monday. ‘We were absolutely thrilled.’ Teachers and students at Jones had been anxiously awaiting the news. The school last year failed to meet testing standards under the federal No Child Left Behind Act."

"With its success, Jones offers an example of what it takes to meet the federal government's new expectations. The school district gave Jones an additional $10,000 for teaching materials and an extra teacher, said Vicki Dineen, executive director of elementary education and Title I for Asheville City Schools. Jones also started an extended day program for at-risk students twice a week. ‘A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen,’ Principal Charlotte Moore said. ‘It was a true collaboration.’"

"Moore said she plans to continue many of the same tutoring programs this school year, and to work more closely with other elementary school teachers in Asheville City Schools who’ve also had success. She wants to adopt a program similar to one begun at Hall Fletcher Elementary. Hall Fletcher’s test scores improved dramatically when teachers began working directly with parents and students living in public housing projects, such as Pisgah View Apartments and Hillcrest Apartments, said Sam Listenbee, Hall Fletcher’s principal. ‘We wanted a way of reaching out into the community and creating positive relationships,’ Listenbee said. ‘This program has been very successful.’"

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 05/15/2008