Archived Story

J.P. King among state’s lowest-performing five percent of schools

Published 1:36pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RICHMOND—Franklin’s J.P. King Middle School has been designated among the lowest-performing five percent of schools in Virginia for reading and math, according to a Wednesday news release from the state Department of Education.

As one of 36 in Virginia designated as “Priority” schools, J.P. King must work with state-approved partners to help design and implement school-reform models meeting state and federal requirements.

S.P. Morton was designated as one of 72 “Focus” schools for being among the lowest 10 percent, according to the news release. This means the school district must hire a state-approved coach to help develop, implement and monitor intervention strategies to improve student performance.

Franklin High Schools and Riverdale Elementary School in Southampton were among 485 of the state’s 1,836 schools that fell short of federal standards. They have been asked to come up with plans to improve students’ achievements in reading and math.

The state Department of Education indicated that 1,241 schools in the state met all requirements.

 

  • Miss Scarlet

    momof2, you are right about the teachers in our schools. They are trying their best to do their job. I have been involved with our schools also and have witnessed this. You should also know that being involved you learn a lot about the children who attend. My best guess after reading your statement concerning parents that need to be accountable as well as the teachers, is that you understand that there are children that attend FCPS whose parents’ live in poverty and that some of them are even “doing time” leaving their parents to raise their children. Like someone else pointed out in the article about asking the superintendent to step down, some parents work long hours at low paying jobs contributing to the working poor factor which also means that some of these parents are not educated themselves and are not able to help children at home with homework because they lack the knowledge to help. It’s all about demographics.

    I believe in the power of prayer, but not in this case. This goes a lot deeper than looking at ONLY the school. Unfortunately the City of Franklin has a strong leadership that does not want change, and yes, it’s going to take more community involvement. But more community involvement means finding people who care to overthrow the good ole’ boy system and start fresh. And that’s exactly what “they” do not want.

    To prove it, The Community Development Department is obtaining Neighborhood Stabilization Funds for HUD certified housing to acquire foreclosed properties for rehabilitation and will be selling them at reduced rates through the Franklin Redevelopment Housing Authority. Think about all the ramifications of that and how that will significantly affect our community.

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  • April

    Bottom line: Sadly, the City of Franklin will most likely continue to decline on many different levels if we don’t get our schools back in order. As as resident of the Franklin, instead of sitting back and watching the schools free fall to poor levels, it’s time for me, as a community member, to get involved.

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  • thirdday

    Key problem: consistency. Franklin continues to run away good teachers with their strong arm techniques and oppressive requirements. Teachers run out of Franklin and never look back. There is such a Big Brother atmosphere that no one wants to stick it out. Who can blame them? The salaries stink, too
    Frozen for six years- did your bills freeze for six years? But not in the central office. They have been rewarded for a job well done nicely. The budget is top heavy, too.

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  • Rotunda

    We can thank the lack of a plan as well as the lack of leadership in the current superintendent. The school board should read the postings on here and take a clue…I concur with dbenton,We need someone with the ability to reach into the community, someone with skills to develop and implement a plan and someone who can effectively administer….all of which the current superintendent is without!

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  • independent

    Yes this is a community problem and will require concerted action. A strong superintendent would be effectively communicating with all groups in town and pulling all resources together to solve the problem rather than off loading/shirking her responsibility to others down the line. As far as the TN is concerned, they are reporting DOE news as it breaks…..and news that someone must have known for a long time but was not made public until much later. Hopefully if those who have children don’t already know these are minimum standards…..not even mid range standards….the TN will explain that too. It is still up to the school board to manage the situation, make sure that we retain the best and get rid of those who are less than.

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  • Ol Skinny

    This is a “community effort”… as the entire community suffers. What do you think scores like these do to our home values? Attracting new business? Would you locate your company here and bring in your staff and expect them to put their children in Franklins schools? Jus Ax’n

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  • franklinmom

    Hello? Was ANYone else in the joint school board/city council meeting when Dr. Belle answered a question regarding accreditation with the response that ALL of Franklin’s schools were fully accredited? When pressed, she artfully dodged the issue by introducing terms like “focus” and “priority” schools when in reality, she SHOULD have made clear that the way the state handles failing schools has shifted. From what I am piecing together, focus and priority schools are a new thing. If we were held to the same terminology as LAST year, I wonder if some of our school personnel would even have a job… I think the state would have cleaned house. I’m a taxpayer. How much to cut her loose? And central office?

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  • amysuite14

    Just to differ with a previous poster…these low,abysmal scores are breaking news. It is one thing to miss accrediation by a few points but to be on the bottom of the whole state is ridiculous. Yes, the whole community needs to help in anyway it can. Franklin needs help and soon. Our children’s futures depend on it.

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  • WettFamily04

    I agree with Mason. Let’s find ways to get the community involved and not just the community but more parents need to get involved in what goes on within the schools. Also, the school board really needs to rethink their grading scale. The way it is now is just showing the children that don’t care that they can still pass and forcing the children that do good in school to feel they have more weight put on them to keeps their grades up.

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  • mason

    Shocked, I would love to read an article in the paper about how you stood before the city council to ask that they find ways to get the entire community involved with the school system to improve outcomes.

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  • mason

    Sure, momof2, let’s all just stick our heads in the sand, deny the seriousness of the problem and hope that it will just go away. A local newspaper is supposed to display good things going on in the area, but no less important it must report things that are “bad” or threaten the area, too, so that the public has a chance to be informed rather than ignorant. Warnings after warnings have come out but still our school system has shown no meaningful effort to turn things around. We are in a crisis, and you choose to criticize the paper for reporting the facts of our demise as they occur. The only good thing you pointed out was: “There are lots of great things going on in our schools, especially all of the hard working teachers and staff at each building.”

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  • Va Native American

    Apparently some of the people commenting below do not read The Tidewater News too often(or maybe they just read the “negative” articles that are published about our local schools.)

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    • Va Native American

      Try:
      “Act of kindness
      Published 10:31am Wednesday, October 10, 2012″
      That should make you feel better. :)

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      • 1stAmendment

        Except that is about IOW not FCPS and that is what momof2 is saying – no good news reported about Franklin schools

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  • Natalya

    If you want to blame someone then instead of blaming the teachers why don’t we blame the government.

    The government wants a certain number of students to graduate and if they do not then the school is held accountable. This means students cannot be dismissed from classrooms or schools and are allowed to stay and disrupt classes with little penalty.

    All accountability is put on the school, administration and teachers. Parents need to be held accountable for the children if you want to see true change because we currently have a system in place with little to no consequences for students or parents and the teachers are blamed for the shortcomings.

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  • shocked

    I agree with momof2- this is not breaking news!! We have read about this for the last few weeks. I would suggest the TN change the focus of the articles now…we know the district is having problems, begin documenting some of the interventions/strategies that are being put in place! I don’t have children in the school system but I hope all stakeholders will become involved and help turn this “thing” around-it’s not a school problem, it’s a COMMUNITY problem!!!

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  • momof2

    FYI- this is not breaking news and it is J.P. King Middle School not elementary school! Everyone in Franklin already knows this because a week doesn’t go by that the TN has some negative article to report about FCPS!! As a parent of 2 that attend FCPS, I am tired of seeing all the negativity about our schools. We know there are issues and the staff at each school are doing all they can to improve scores and their schools. It doesn’t help that the TN wants to keep reporting all the negativity!! What about other local school systems? They have their issues just like Franklin does, but you don’t see the TN reporting on those other systems! This is getting ridiculous!! How are things suppose to get any better if you want to keep bearing down on the bad?! There are lots of great things going on in our schools, especially all of the hard working teachers and staff at each building. It would be nice if the TN could report something positive about FCPS for once instead of negative, negative, negative!!!

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    • channel666

      TO: momof2, No i agree that is not breaking news but that it is ongoing news, and I for one like knowing….I do not agree with you about the staff. Someone has to be held accountable, who do you think it should be? AND the reason you dont see anything about other schools in the TN is obviously because there are no problems with them and there is definitely a problem with Franklin Public Schools… Are you an involved parent with the school? If not maybe you should be! Dont blame TN for printing news

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      • momof2

        channel666- I am a VERY involved parent. What is your role in FCPS? Do you have children that attend? Are you involved in the schools? Although other school systems may not being doing as poorly SOL wise, they still have their issues. I have been in other local school systems and the “grass is not always greener”! I understand the TN has to report these types of stories, but they also need to report the positive. They are at our schoolboard meetings every month, but they never report on all the good news that is shared. They only report the negative. There was a long list of good news shared at last week’s meeting, but none of that made the paper! You also need to look at our demographics. The schools are facing lots of challenges besides test scores. These problems ccannot be fixed overnight! I am in the schools on a regular basis and see how hard the staff is working. Yes they have to be accountable, but so do the parents!! The teachers cannot do it all and they certainly cannot go home with them! How about you take a walk through the schools and go visit some classrooms and you will see what great, hard-working teachers we have!! If you have never stepped foot in our schools and have no involvement with our schools, then you have no right to pass judgement!! Maybe you could help by praying for our schools- there is power in prayer!!

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