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September 01, 2004 Extra Credit
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September 1, 2004

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NCLB Strategies Improve W.Va. Schools

The following are excerpts from a recent article in the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram (Clarksburg, W.Va.) highlighting the changes the Harrison County schools made to come off of the needing improvement list by changing their teaching strategies and furthering their efforts to ensure that No Child is Left Behind:

"Last year, when 17 of Harrison County’s 25 schools were listed as needing improvement based on the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, teachers, students and parents questioned how reasonable expectations were that schools could meet the federal guidelines. A year later, expectations were not only met, but exceeded."

"This year, the county had 18 of its 25 schools meeting the federal requirements for test scores, attendance and graduation rates."

"‘The days of just teaching from the textbook are over. You need other hands-on activities to supplement,’ said Wilsonburg Elementary Principal Rosalee Dolan. ‘We worked with children in small groups and tried to use individual analysis of each child’s strengths and weaknesses. We are so pleased with the results but know there is still a lot of work to be done.’"

"‘Watching the county go from 17 schools needing improvement last year to only seven this year was a thrill, said Harrison County Schools Superintendent Carl Friebel. ‘There is no bad news here,’ Friebel said. ‘We credit this to what the teachers are doing out in the schools.’"

"‘In setting expectations that were much higher than before, we pushed the kids harder, and we got out of them more than even they thought possible,’ said Doretta Walker, third-grade teacher at Wilsonburg Elementary. ‘At the beginning of last year, we were flabbergasted. We all believed we couldn’t do this. But we did….If [the students] can’t get the information the way we’re presenting it….We have to be sure they get it and look for ways to make that happen.’"

"‘It was just a positive effort on everybody’s part, the teachers and the students,’ said South Harrison Middle English teacher Heather Holbert. ‘…I know all the schools worked hard. Even the ones who didn’t make it, it isn’t because of lack of effort.’"

"‘We were very forcefully focused on the basics. Every year we look at the previous year’s tests and emphasize the problem areas,’ he said. ‘No one wants to think we’re collecting money and not doing our job. We have no problem with accountability.’"

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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: 03/28/2008