42 Guilford schools deemed ‘low performing’


Megan Ritsche, a second-grade teacher, works with Sofia Morales, center, and Mariam Ramth on reading at Allen Jay Elementary School on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in High Point, N.C. Allen Jay is identified as a low-performing school based on standardized test performance. There are may factors that go into a school’s performance that aren’t taken into account, such as, at Allen Jay about 40 percent of students don’t speak English as their first language and the high poverty rate makeup of students. Despite this the students typically improve their performance on test year to year (Lynn Hey/News & Record)

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — At Allen Jay Elementary, about 40 percent of the students speak a first language other than English. Teachers at the school are “phenomenal” and “committed,” Principal Dawn Spencer said.

She pointed to the school’s diversity and teaching staff as two of the things that make the school special.

But strangers looking to learn more about Allen Jay may see only a letter — D — and two words: low performing.

“That’s a hard thing to overcome with a new person,” Spencer said. “It sends the wrong message about your school, and that’s unfortunate.”

That’s an issue facing 547 schools across North Carolina, including 42 in Guilford County, now labeled as “low performing” under a recent state law.

READ MORE: News & Record

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