For the first time, California had to comply with federal law to identify low performing schools that receive federal funds, 781 made the list, 44 of those schools are in Riverside County.
Cynthia Glover Woods, the chief academic officer with the Riverside Department of Education says their goal is for all students to succeed, “Anytime we have data that shows we have students that are not being served well within our county that’s always a concern.”
She says under this new system schools are measured far beyond test scores and takes into account things like attendance , suspensions and graduation rates, “One thing I don’t believe that the list tells people in the community is the work that schools have been doing prior to the release of this data, there are i’m sure schools on the list that have been making progress.”
Palm Springs Unified School District had five schools on the list.
Dr. Mike Swize, the assistant superintendent of education services says he sees this as an opportunity, “It’s really going to give us the opportunity to dig deeply, look to identify the root causes and then apply some evidence based interventions to make a difference for our students.”
Four of those five were middle schools: James workman, Nellie Coffman, Desert Springs and Painted Hills.
Swize says suspension and attendance played a role, “Those are two areas that in addition to academic that we need to focus our attention.”
Desert Sands Unified School District had three schools on the list, two of theirs were middle schools too, “Dealing with a child of 10, 11, 12, 13, years old, there’s a lot of social concerns and so as we think about providing assistance for our schools and for our children we need to not only look at the academic side but also the social, emotional, learning side,” adding there is already a plan in the works to change this, “Desert Sands is putting a huge amount of resources, time and effort into developing multi teared systems of support for students and we’re working intensively with our middle schools so we have a well balances support structure for teachers and for kids.”
With the data just out it’s still early to know all of the steps that will be used for improvement and what will work but they all say they are committed to students success.
“Our schools are all committed to doing whatever it takes to continue to to help students be successful, we have great students and parents, wonderful teachers, and amazing administrators and they work really hard to make a difference,” says Swize.
Search the full list here: California Schools