Parent thinks state grading system that failed three Huntsville schools needs to change

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Three Huntsville City Schools appear on the state’s list of failing schools and several parents we’ve spoken to are upset. Not at the schools, but at the test. Schools on this annual list are in the lowest six percent of public K-12 schools in the state.

Chaundra Jones has kids who attend schools on the state`s failing list. She has an 8th grader at Ronald McNair and two kids at Jemison High School. “We have hard-working students, we have hard-working teachers, we have hard-working administrators,” Jones explained.

Jones thinks The Alabama Department of Education should change its grading system. “I really feel like if you are going to judge a school or evaluate a school, you should not base your letter grade on one particular grade,” Jones explained.

The list is compiled with the results of the “ACT Aspire”. It’s a test students take only one day out of the school year. For high schools, the state only uses test scores of the 10th-grade students.

Jones thinks the list shines a bad light on the students and discourages them. “I can’t say enough great things about Jemison students. I’m not telling you something that I heard. I have been an active parent with the PTA for over 12 years,” Jones said.

Jemison High School and Ronald McNair aren’t the only schools from Huntsville to make that list. Lee High School is on the list too. WHNT News 19 reached out to Huntsville City Schools officials and they tell us this list does not give parents a true understanding of how their child`s school is performing.

Huntsville City Schools says the state list also doesn’t take into account the programs they provide to students. “The test in no way shows what Jemison is really built of. It just gives you a small tidbit,” Jones said.

Jones said if these failing schools were to get a mentoring and tutoring program, then the results may start to look a little different next year.