National report cites schools closing achievement gap

National report cites schools closing achievement gap

Twelve Gwinnett schools recognized for reducing student achievement gap

Twelve Gwinnett County schools have been recognized nationally for significantly narrowing the student achievement gap between higher and lower performing student groups during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years. The recognition is based on the evaluation performed by Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services. Final results identify nine Gwinnett elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school as schools that have reduced the gap in at least one of three categories; Black and White student achievement, Hispanic and White student achievement, and economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged student achievement.

According to SchoolMatters, a service of Standard and Poor's, “These schools are recognized here in the hopes that they may serve as benchmarks and sources of promising practices for educators elsewhere in the state who are trying to close achievement gaps while improving the achievement of all students.”

Dr. Cindy Loe, associate superintendent for Teaching and Learning, echoes this praise, saying, “We are extremely proud of the principals and teachers at these schools. They have demonstrated their commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels. It is gratifying to have an outside party applaud their efforts.”

Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of only three Georgia school systems that each have more than five schools that have significantly narrowed at least one achievement gap between student groups. The Gwinnett schools recognized for closing in on the achievement gap in the economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged category include Centerville Elementary, Chattahoochee Elementary, Dacula Elementary, B.B. Harris Elementary, McKendree Elementary, Rebecca Minor Elementary, Shiloh Elementary, K. E. Taylor Elementary, Alton C. Crews Middle, and Peachtree Ridge High. These ten Gwinnett schools are part of a group of 69 schools across Georgia recognized under this category.

Peachtree Elementary is one of only seven schools in Georgia recognized for closing the gap between Hispanic and White students.

J.E. Richards Middle is recognized for closing the gap among Black and White students. Judy Stephens, principal of the school, credits her staff, saying “It just reaffirms our commitment for accelerating academic achievement for all students. Our teachers have a ‘no excuses’ attitude and have adopted a mantra of ‘whatever it takes.’ Add to that our AKS/CQI model, which is a deliberate and purposeful plan to improve student achievement, and you have a school that focuses on success.”