Pike County Schools to release report on system’s health

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Parents of Pike County Schools students will be receiving a report this evening detailing the financial and academic status of the school system.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent, said he wanted to provide a more thorough assessment of the school system to stakeholders to show where the school is succeeding and where it needs improvement.

“The state is spending in excess of $16.5 million on student testing and an accountability program,” Bazzell said. “There are two reasons you do a student assessment. The first reason is to generate test results for individual students so that teachers and school officials can make decisions about how to improve the student performance, not only in groups but in individual students. The only other reason is to create a report released to the public that gives education stakeholders some idea about how their schools are performing. That’s it.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The report breaks down a wide variety of information pertaining to the school system, including financial information and academic performance.

“Our stakeholder report is fully transparent,” Bazzell said. “It tells everybody where our strengths are and where our weaknesses are. In order to improve, you really have to know where you’re at.”

In addition to going home with students today, Bazzell said the report will also be published online and available for everyone interested to review.

The report shares analytical data about the school system on all levels, from per-pupil expenditures to the percentage of students proficient in reading and math ove the last five years, to ACT scores and college and career readiness.

“Some things that are really good in the report reflect well on us – the percentage of students participating in postsecondary dual enrollment including our associates degree programs, the percentage of students graduating college and career ready, our graduation rate, and the decrease in the number of kids requiring enrollment in remedial course at postsecondary level,” Bazzell said. “Fewer and fewer of our kids have to take a remedial course in college. And the progress that we’ve made in improving achievement levels for kids that fall into one of those challenging subgroups, those are all positives for us.”

There are some areas though where the report shows need for improvement, Bazzell said.

“Overall, I’d like to see student achievement levels increase, see our ACT levels increase,” Bazzell said. “There’s plenty of work to be done. That’s the purpose of the report is to give anyone and everyone interested in what we’re doing in Pike County a snapshot of the health of our school system. We are making progress in improving ACT scores; we’re still below the state average but just read a report that PCS was in top 10 in Alabama as far as levels of improvement on ACT scores. We’re heading in the right direction there. We’ve made that a priority with some new programs we have in place and are putting in place. “