February 17, 2005 Extra Credit
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February 17, 2005

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February 16
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Atlanta School: 90 Percent Minority, 90 Percent Low-Income, and 90 Percent Meeting State Standards

The following are excerpts from an article in today’s The Atlanta Journal Constitution highlighting the success of Brookview Elementary School in the Atlanta metro region:

"Whether it's the class with the best attendance or the best behavior in the cafeteria, [Principal Paul] Brown is always planning a party for somebody. A class meeting its reading goal is cause for pizza, and a special education student having a good day is reason enough for Brown bring out his stash of peppermint candies. ‘We celebrate everything,’ Brown said. ‘I think we eat more Popsicles around here than anywhere else.’

"The south Fulton County elementary school had yet another reason to celebrate recently, when the state Department of Education highlighted its high pass rates on the state curriculum test.

"Brookview Elementary in East Point and Capitol View Elementary in Atlanta were declared 90-90-90 schools, meaning 90 percent or more students are minority, 90 percent or more qualify for free and reduced-price lunch and 90 percent or more met or exceeded expectations on the state test known as the CRCT last spring. In analyzing the test data, the state counted only students who had been at the school for the whole school year. Like many schools that serve families who live in apartment complexes, students at Brookview move in and out."

"Brookview not only met the state's testing goals to satisfy No Child Left Behind, but also it got a label of ‘distinguished’ among schools that receive federal funds. Teachers say the school's can-do atmosphere plays a huge role in the kids' success. ‘We all work together,’ said third-grade teacher Kathy Lewis. ‘We rely on each other; we do a lot of reflection on what we do.’"

"Brown pokes his head in classrooms all day long. ‘Hey, Mr. Cool, how are you doing?’ he says to a student. He regularly teaches math classes, and he eats lunch with students in the cafeteria. He sends teachers motivational e-mails. In the classroom, teachers emphasize writing and building rich vocabularies as well as reading and math.

"Teachers compile a detailed narrative on every student, noting weaknesses and spelling out their plans to address each shortcoming. Teachers don't lament the low turnout of parents at PTA meetings or the challenges of working with students whose families frequently move away during the school year. ‘Kids are kids,’ said Peggy Jackson, who teaches reading to first- and second-graders in small groups. ‘Some might live in apartments, but that doesn't mean they don't have the same ability.’"

The complete text of this article is available from The Atlanta Journal Constitution online archives for a fee.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013