Parents and educators argue that R.A. Hubbard High School’s “Failing” label is undeserved

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. -  High School is on the failing schools list in Alabama. Community advocates, educators, and parents are arguing that the school is not a failing school and the "failing" label is unfair and undeserved.

They aren't the only people against labeling a school as failing. Last week in a state school board work session, Governor Kay Ivey asked the Deputy State Superintendent, Dr. Daniel Boyd, if the "failing" label could be changed.

R.A. Hubbard High School found its place on the state's list of failing schools based on standardized test scores for the 2018-2019 school year. Community members say it is not a failing school.

"It's an unfair description of the school," said graduate Deano Orr.

Marquis Puryear supports R.A. Hubbard because of how the teachers have helped her son in math.

"He was at East Lawrence. They said he was immature and that's the reason why he could only get a 60 but then I brought him to R.A. Hubbard and he made a B," said Puryear.

Supporters say, look at the numbers. They paint a picture of R.A. Hubbard being a better than average Lawrence County School.

"23 graduates[in 2019]. Out of those 23 graduates 19 actually are in colleges and junior colleges and universities," said Orr.

Two other students of the graduating class of 2019 are in trade-specific training for jobs.

R.A. Hubbard had a 100% graduation rate. But with less than 150 students in 7-12th grades, only a few students scoring poorly on the ACT or standardized tests can make their total score drop.

Deano Orr says the ACT shouldn't hold so much weight.

"I've known plenty of students that have never even taken the ACT test but yet they perform very well at community colleges and have transferred to four-year colleges and universities," said Orr.

R.A. Hubbard made an 83 on the state report card which was the highest score out of all Lawrence County schools.

"I think that proves that we have the ability to improve our school, make it a viable school, and make sure our students get very good education," said Lawrence County School Board District 1 representative, Christine Garner.

In reference to the failing label, Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola said, "The governor wants every student in every school across the state to achieve success. She believes that hardworking students and teachers at struggling schools should not be blamed for systemic problems. Under strong leadership, these schools can and will succeed."

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