Huntsville Leaders Fight Perception of Failing Schools

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)–  Huntsville city leaders are fighting perception.

A list labeling nine Huntsville schools as ‘failing’ has forced the city to tackle the negative perception some people have of our schools.

Mayor Tommy Battle is leading the campaign, going into those failing schools to find out what is really going on inside. Battle says the reality is things are looking up for those schools and he wants everyone to know about it.

“Perception can become reality so we have to make sure that people have the real facts,” Battle says.

The City of Huntsville’s YouTube page is filling up with new videos taken from inside each of the schools that Mayor Battle has visited over the last several weeks.

In north Alabama, 10 schools are listed as failing. Nine are in Huntsville and one is in Decatur. See the full list.

Huntsville City Schools
SR Butler High School
Chapman Middle School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
Davis Hills Middle School
Ed White Middle School
J.O. Johnson High School
Lakewood Elementary School
James Dawson Elementary School
Westlawn Middle School

Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama Superintendent of Education, said it is important to look at the numbers on the list next to some of the schools.  He said some, including Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Huntsville, have shown real progress in the last six years.

A school is listed as failing if it falls in the bottom six percent of schools in the state, and MLK was not on the failing list the last two years.  In fact, its numbers show a 34% increase in student achievement over the last six years.  However, because it did fall in the bottom six percent for the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 school years, it made the failing list.

Additionally, James Dawson Elementary did not make the bottom six percent of schools the past two years. However, it did the previous four years, so it made the failing list.  James Dawson’s numbers show a 29% increase in student achievement since 2006.

Huntsville’s Lakewood Elementary School didn’t fail in 2012, but did the previous five years.  Lakewood’s numbers show a 28% increase in student achievement since 2006.



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