Eight years have passed since that first day when I opened a package that contained the PSSA test scores for Meade School. The results were dismal. Only four of my 48 5th grade students scored at the proficient level in either the reading or math test. An additional handful of students scored in the basic category and the remaining 80 percent were below basic performers.
Three years later in 2005, our test scores finally met the targets for making AYP. Meade has remained in this status for the last five years.
Governor Rendell joined Superintendent Arlene Ackerman at a press event at Lincoln High School in Philadelphia. They announced that 59 percent of the schools in Philadelphia had made AYP. This represented 158 of the District’s 267 schools. Interestingly, 32 of the schools making AYP are designated as Empowerment Schools. Meade was one of the schools acknowledged at this event.
Since 2002, the Meade test scores have shown considerable improvement. We have on our own built upon and expanded the strengths of our instructional program. This year 44 percent of our students scored at the proficient and advanced levels on the reading test. In math, 56 percent of the students scored at these levels. Even more impressive is the large decrease in the number of our students who are scoring at the below basic level (33 percent in reading and 24.6 percent in math).
During the years that I was principal of Meade, we regularly conducted school-wide assemblies. These gatherings provided an opportunity for our students and staff to share in and celebrate one another’s successes. Students performed mini-concerts and individual classrooms did presentations. Every classroom in the school would give at least one performance during the year. At the end of each presentation, the entire audience would chant, “Good job! Good job!” In this way we affirmed and saluted every individual’s contributions to our school organization.
I do the same now, as I acknowledge the great work of the teachers and students of Meade School in once again making AYP. I like to think that the jubilant principals referenced in Ron Whitehorne’s recent post, will do the same at their own schools.
Good job! Good job!