It’s nice to improve on an improvement

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 18, 2003

Test scores around most parts of West Alabama looked about the same. Surprisingly, they all looked positively the same.

In Marengo County, SAT10 tests revealed that the county school system is not on the endangered list of state education officials. In Demopolis, the school system is well ahead of any trouble and is academically clear. In Linden, that system is perilously close from going on to the priority list of state officials.

One thing positive to take from the school reports issued this week is that no school system in Marengo County is in imminent danger. Most times, when reports like this are issued for this part of Alabama, it’s a sure bet that a few schools are close to a state rehabilitation program.

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Marengo County isn’t the only surprise in this part of the state. Take a look at some other scores:

Greene County finished in the 35th percentile; Sumter County scored in the 34th percentile; Dallas County finished in the 40th percentile; Wilcox County ranks in the 35th percentile; and Clarke County ranks in the 40th percentile.

In order for the state to place a school under academic "priority," the school system has to rank under the 30th percentile mark.

Certainly there are school systems around the Black Belt that have been placed under academic priority. However, we consider it an encouraging report to find that no school system in the region of the state is on academic priority.

Most times, media outlets &045;&045; including this one &045;&045; find reasons to disparage the state of affairs in the Black Belt. We complain about problems in infrastructure, government and education. Most times, the complaints merit the attention.

Just once, though, we feel it’s important to find the lemonade in this jar of lemons. To have an area where no school system is not under the supervision of the black suits in Montgomery is encouraging news.

This obviously doesn’t mean that people in the Black Belt should become apathetic in their desire for improvement. As both Luke Hallmark and Dr. Wesley Hill said, there’s plenty of room to improve.

For once, though, it’s nice to improve on an improvement.