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T.C. Williams No Longer among State's Lowest-Performing Schools

VDOE Announcement Confirms School's Exit from Priority Status

Alexandria, Va. — T.C. Williams High School is no longer among the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I and Title I-eligible Virginia schools, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced today in a news release identifying Priority and Focus Schools for the 2013-14 school year. T.C. Williams is one of 10 that exited Priority status.

"This news validates the many indicators of T.C.'s progress on its road to improvement," said Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Acting Superintendent Margaret Walsh. "I am confident that the school will continue to make great strides in student achievement."

VDOE designates the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools as Priority schools, and another 10 percent of Title I schools are identified as Focus schools based on the achievement of historically low-performing subgroups. Jefferson-Houston School remains a Priority school for the second consecutive year.

John Adams and Patrick Henry Elementary schools are identified as Focus schools for the second consecutive year. (Focus schools retain their designation for a minimum of two years, unless they are subsequently identified as Priority schools or no longer receive federal Title I funding).

VDOE, under the two-year No Child Left Behind Act flexibility waivers granted in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education, established annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for reducing proficiency gaps between students in the commonwealth's lowest-performing and highest-performing schools. These objectives in reading and mathematics have replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schools were previously required to meet under the federal education law. To be designated as meeting all Federal AMOs, participation and performance targets must be met for both English and mathematics for nine subgroups. All schools, excluding those with a graduating class, must meet 36 targets to receive the status "Met All Federal AMOs."

Eight Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) schools (George Washington 1 Middle School; Charles Barrett, Douglas MacArthur, James K. Polk, Matthew Maury and Samuel W. Tucker elementary schools; Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy; and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology) met all 36 Federal AMOs in both English and mathematics. This represents an increase of two schools when compared with last year's results. ACPS as a division met all 18 Federal English AMOs and 17 out of 18 Federal Mathematics AMOs.

"It is important to consider the increased rigor of Virginia's new reading and mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests before making conclusions about schools that missed annual objectives," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in the VDOE's news release. "Virginia has raised the bar to prepare students for the realities of the 21st century. Our challenge - from the superintendent's office to the classroom - is to make sure students have the instruction and interventions they need to achieve the commonwealth's college- and career-ready expectations, regardless of who they are or where they live."

Additional information on the progress of Virginia schools and divisions toward meeting the goals of the commonwealth's NCLB flexibility waiver is available on the Federal Accountability page of the VDOE website. Read the VDOE news release.