News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A report card is in for our area's largest school district and it is not good.
On Wednesday morning, Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson met with assistant principals and school leaders to come up with a plan.
That is because new test scores are being called "absolutely awful."
It is a chart coded with colors given to us by administrators, but a closer look shows a disturbing trend, one that has board members asking for immediate action.
Cynthia Roberson's kids are seniors at Glenn Hills High School.
When she read half of the students there aren't passing social studies, math or science, "I was like wow, because they study so hard," she said.
She is looking at a new chart showing last year's test scores for Richmond County schools.
Yellow means less than half of the students are passing. The yellow, highlighting a big problem across several high schools and middle schools.
"Not one middle school did better than 50 percent in social studies, I mean, that's ridiculous," said Board President Alex Howard.
"Needless to say, they are not where we want them to be," Superintendent Roberson said.
So how can we change them?
"I think it's a combination of things. I think we need to do a better job of learning how to teach our students and I think parents need to do a better job of sitting down with their kids," Howard said.
Others wonder if this is also a reflection of Dr. Roberson's absence last year.
"Part of it is, I mean I don't think it's a whole reflection of that," Howard said.
Roberson said, "This dynamic is bigger than the superintendent, it's larger than Dr. Frank Roberson."
He said the numbers won't mean administrative changes but could bring a change in teaching styles and taking a closer look at student progress.
Final results could take up to three years.
"I'm sick of it and I think the rest of the board is as well, and we told Dr. Roberson we weren't waiting two or three more years -- we want immediate results," Howard said.
As school leaders take a closer look at their system, back at Cynthia's home, she hopes parents are taking an even closer look at their kids.
"We need more parents to get involved, not just send them to school," she said.
The chart breaks it down by school. At many of the elementary schools, about half were not passing social studies, math and sciences.
The only real good news in all of this is that across the board, most school levels did well in reading and language arts.
For the most part, the numbers have stayed the same throughout the years, so there hasn't been a major spike since Dr. Roberson's absence, but they do point to instability at the top throughout the past several years.
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