DESE identifies Central Middle School as needing improvement

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cape Girardeau's Central Middle School is unlikely to meet "adequate yearly progress" goals and will be classified by the state as "needing improvement" during the coming school year, state education officials said Tuesday.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has notified more than 250 public schools and school districts that they are unlikely to meet the academic goals set by the state to meet federal law. Other Southeast Missouri schools on the list include the Poplar Bluff, Mo., fifth and sixth grade center; Scott County Central High School at Morley, Mo.; and the Sikeston School District's Morehouse Elementary School.

Under the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, these schools and districts will be required to notify parents about the designation as soon as possible. The school districts will be required to prepare new school improvement plans, DESE spokesman Jim Morris said.

DESE said it has identified schools and districts in need of improvement as required by federal law. The analysis is based on 2006 and 2007 Missouri Assessment Program student scores, and school attendance and graduation rates.

DESE identified the schools on its Web site on Monday. But school officials won't receive data on test scores until later this week.

Pat Fanger, assistant superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District, said the lack of information is "very frustrating."

Central Middle School failed to meet the target goals in some student categories last year. But because fifth- and sixth-grade students were tested for the first time in 2006, Cape Girardeau school officials said at the time that the middle school would have another year before it would have to show adequate yearly progress.

The middle school failed to meet the target goals among black, special-needs and low-income students. But the student body overall at the middle school exceeded the proficiency targets, school officials said.

Fanger said it now appears that the middle school has failed to meet academic goals in at least one of the three categories for two years in a row.

For updates, check back at or read Wednesday's Southeast Missourian.

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