Low graduation rates in North AL schools - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Low graduation rates at Butler H.S. and other N. AL schools

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

The Alabama State Department of Education released part of the annual yearly progress report Tuesday. It showed that only 44 percent of seniors graduated from Butler High school in Huntsville in 2012. School officials say they have a plan to make that low rate rise.

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski agrees that having a 44 percent graduation rate at one of his schools isn't an ideal situation. But the 44 percent is a jump from last year when the rate was at 31 percent.

"Kids only get one shot at an education so we are in a big hurry to see these educational environments improve," said Huntsville City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Casey Wardynski. "We know what we need to do. The teachers in those schools take pride in seeing those numbers go up."

Wardynski said part of the plan to see those numbers go up includes starting from the bottom and working on the feeder schools that go into Butler high like West Lawn Middle.

"We are working very hard at West Lawn," he said. "So West Lawn is one of our schools that received a very large school improvement grant. They are just completing the first year of that grant and we are seeing their math and reading proficiency go up dramatically."

Mary Scott Hunter with the Alabama Board of Education said she is counting on Dr. Wardynski to deliver. She said that numbers this low can be turned around and the state is doing what they can to help by making sure every child graduates and is prepared for college. They call is Plan 2020.

"The ideas and goals of this plan are being used at a local level and i am very proud at what the state board is doing," she said.

In the meantime, Wardynski said the school system will keep their focus

"We know where the problems are in our school system and we are committed to focusing the resources to get the kids caught up."

Five other North Alabama schools also had low graduation rates. Colbert County High School dropped from 55 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2012.

Colbert Heights High improved 6 percentage points to 66 percent. Sylvania High School dropped from 78 percent to 67 percent.

Valley Head dropped 4 percentage points to 67-percent. And Falkville High School also at 67 percent in 2012, dropped from 76 percent.

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