District 205 Fails to Meet Federal Standards

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This is a problem that our new superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson informed the school board about Tuesday night.

Dr. Thompson started this past Saturday looking at the staff make-up of each school. What he uncovered was Washington, Barbour, RSTA, and Ellis do not have teachers that meet the No Child Left Behind requirements to teach a certain core class.

Barbour, RSTA, Washington, and Ellis get Title I funding. Since 2002 under the No Child Left Behind act the schools that receive Title I federal funding have to have “qualified” staff. All teachers in District 205 have to be certified which means they have a college degree and a K-8 license.

Those who teach at a Title I school “qualify” by having a subject specific certification or middle school endorsement. Barbour has two 8th grade teachers that do not meet the NCLB guidelines to teach. That means 8th grade may have to move out of Barbour.

There will be a federal audit of the district. That could potentially cost the district thousands of dollars. We get over $9 million in Title I funding. Dr. Thompson’s evaluation isn't done and there could be more schools not in compliance. By 2005 all schools with or without Title I funding have to have qualified staff under No Child Left Behind.

Tuesday night the school board was also given the results of the Standard test scores for 4th and 7th graders. Fourth and 7th grade scores are within the national average range. But over a five-year period 4th grade reading and 7th grade math are showing a downward trend. There is still also a huge gap in achievement among ethnic groups.