Birmingham Schools Superintendent reacts to failing schools list

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[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16x9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1371600226&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4101557&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1371600226 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham City Schools superintendent Craig Witherspoon is defending the performance of the Birmingham schools listed as failing.

78 Alabama schools have been dubbed as “failing” based on their scores on the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT). The schools listed have scored among the bottom 6 percent over the last six years

Witherspoon says several of the schools have made significant gains in math and reading in the past two to three years.

“I wouldn’t consider schools that have made 25 point, 20 point gains in the last two or three years a failing school,” said Witherspoon.

One of the schools Witherspoon is referring to as making progress is Hill Elementary School in Smithfield.

According to the superintendent, in 2009, only 53 percent of students were performing at or above grade level for math and reading. By 2012, that number increased to 78 percent.

Witherspoon says he does not agree with the criteria used in the Alabama Accountability Act to identify failing schools.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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