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Educators waiting for test results

As teachers, students and administrators anxiously await theresults of this year’s state test scores, Brookhaven SchoolDistrict Superintendent Lea Barrett said she hopes the district’schanges in curriculum and instructional strategy will proveeffective.

Barrett told school board members Tuesday that scores fromMississippi Curriculum Tests and Subject Area Tests, part of the NoChild Left Behind program, are expected to be returned to thedistrict at the end of July.

She explained that this year’s requirements are different fromlast year’s.

“The stakes are going up this year,” Barrett said.

The Mississippi Department of Education chose to create plateausof achievement, with the next plateau being implemented this year,said Barrett.

The overall goal is for 100 percent of students to be proficientin the areas of reading, English and math by the year 2014.

During the first two years of the plan, schools were expected tohave 61 percent of third-graders proficient in reading. For the2005 tests, that number increased to 71 percent. Other areas havesimilar expectations, with some expected to increase proficiency by50 percent.

“Our faculties and our schools and our district are morespecifically accountable for learning for every child than has everbeen the case in the history of this nation,” Barrett said.

Barrett continued, saying, “Each year the goal becomes moredifficult, the stakes increase, and each year it seems thatMississippi schools are asked to get the job done with fewerresources.”

The decision by state legislators of whether they will fullyfund Mississippi Adequate Education Program is still beingconsidered in a special session.

No other discussion followed about the state’s education budgetor state test results.

Barrett announced that the district recently received good newsfrom the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Theorganization presented the district with a certificate ofaccreditation, making the district one of 49 to receive thehonor.

The award shows that every school within the district wasconsidered an accredited school by SACS.

In other business, following an executive session, board membersannounced that a public budget hearing would be held at 6 p.m. June16 in the district’s central office board room.