There is much to celebrate and learn from our annual assessments.
We congratulate Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) teachers and administrators for improving reading scores among students in third, fourth and sixth grades. Reading test scores held steady at grades 5 and 8. Students are tested in reading at grades 3-8, and the End-of-Course assessment is given at grade 11.
We commend our T.C. Williams High School staff for raising expectations and delivering on high levels of achievement, as 39 percent of the graduating class of 2012 took Advanced Placement (AP) courses, enrolled in the highest number of AP courses ever taken at T.C. and achieved high scores. These results improve on the Challenge Index, which last year placed T.C. in the top 4 percent of all high schools in the United States.
Our state math scores should be better. We commend the pass rate of 95 percent of fifth-graders at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, and we will learn from the school’s exceptional teachers.
For the first time in many decades, we will begin the school year with a K-12 curriculum which embeds all the new Standards of Learning, yet is not a pacing guide. This curriculum elevates critical thinking to international standards.
Our new teacher evaluation system includes student achievement as a core measure of teacher performance and will be implemented this school year.
Our class sizes are the lowest in the region and our counselor-to-student ratios are among the lowest in the country. Each of our secondary students will have an Individualized Career and Achievement Plan and our teacher salaries are among the highest in the state.
We are focused on continual growth and continual learning as we strive to maintain balance and perspective. We learn from our successes and from our areas of need.
We are honored to serve remarkable students in ACPS. We serve students with Northern Virginia’s highest free and reduced price lunch rate (58 percent), with one of the region’s highest English Language Learner rates (nearly one out of four students) and with the region’s most diverse population (35 percent African-American, 30 percent Latino and 28 percent white).
The fact that many of our schools are achieving at very high rates gives us hope and drives our optimism that all of our students can achieve at the levels necessary to be successful as 21st-century learners.
ACPS Superintendent of Schools