published Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Hamilton County Schools' troubling report

With the academic achievement of our children being vital to the future prosperity and stability of the United States, it is obviously important for schools to offer youngsters educational opportunities that promote their success.

So it is very disappointing that fewer than half of Hamilton County schools earned "good standing" this year under federal standards, according to state information released recently.

At issue are the Adequate Yearly Progress goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. Statewide, only about half of our schools met the standard.

Thirteen local schools reportedly missed the AYP benchmark: Barger Academy, Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Daisy Elementary, East Brainerd Elementary, East Lake Elementary, East Ridge Elementary, East Ridge High, Hardy Elementary, Hixson High, Hixson Middle, Hunter Middle and Ivy Academy.

Causing even greater alarm, 19 local schools are listed as "high priority" -- meaning they have missed AYP two years in a row.

We would like to say there are easy solutions to the lack of achievement in many of our schools. Adequate funding is part of the answer, but money can be wasted in education just as it can in any other endeavor. The most important ingredient for student success is parents who impose discipline at home and insist that their children work hard in school. Students also need well-qualified teachers supported by good principals.

The discouraging AYP report should spur parents and teachers to redouble their efforts to assure that truly no child is left behind academically.

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