Isn’t it great news for the whole community when we can brag on our school systems for academic excellence?
Sports often seem to get more attention in the press, but we want to promote academics as well. Good schools are vital to grow a community. Good schools meet the needs of communities by preparing tomorrow’s workforce. New and expanding industrial prospects expect to find schools producing students to meet their needs in communities where they are considering tremendous financial investment.
Therefore, today we want to brag on all of the public school districts in Bell and Harlan counties for their recent performance on EXPLORE and PLAN Results.
Not all the schools have glowing reports. In fact, we feel administrators need to look closely at a few of the schools that seem not to be up to par.
However, based on the EXPLORE and PLAN scores released, overall the Bell County, Pineville Independent, Middlesboro Independent, Harlan County and Harlan Independent districts have plenty of data for a big pat on the back.
We especially want to make mention of two schools which scored among the state’s elite – Rosspoint elementary in the Harlan County District and Harlan High School in the Harlan Independent District. These two schools ranked among the highest in the state for the average composite score on their respective test.
Bryan Howard, the Rosspoint principal, was quick to give credit where we agree it should go — to the teachers, students and parents that take the tests seriously. We also think some credit should go to the community leaders and residents who expect and demand good academic schools.
For those schools that seem to be lagging far behind, we encourage the district administration to raise the bar at those facilities.
Barbara Warren, the Bell County assessment coordinator, said the scores and the preparation taking place in the schools are an “ongoing commitment to our students and that we prepare them to be successful when they graduate from high school.”
And, with this year’s data in, Middlesboro Superintendent Dr. Rita Cook certainly speaks for all the districts saying “We are aggressively looking at these scores and breaking it down to determine what sort of skills our students need. We are beginning to see pretty good gains. Clearly, we are not where we want to be, but we are pleased by what we’re seeing.”
For those schools that seem to be on task, we commend you and appreciate your hard work. For those that need a little extra push, we offer our encouragement, our support and ask that you step it up to make certain the education provided is meeting the students’ needs for the future.