Partnership Zone School (Round 2) Profile: Stanton Middle School
On September 1st, 2011, Secretary Lowery and the Department of Education announced the 6 schools chosen to participate in round 2 of the statewide Partnership Zone Initiative (for more information about the Partnership Zone, see our previous blogs). This blog is the last of a six part series detailing these six schools (Bancroft Elementary, Bayard Middle, Dover High, Lewis Dual Language Academy Marbrook Elementary).
Stanton is a middle school in the Red Clay school district that serves 716 students in grades 6-8, 73% of which are low income,32% African-American, and 31% Hispanic/Latino. Stanton has had steadily rising student enrollment numbers (597 in 2008 to 716 in 2011) and a concurrent rise in Hispanic and low income students (both of which are enrolled at much higher proportions than the district or state). All three Red Clay PZ schools have much higher proportions of Hispanic/Latino students, which is new from last year and representative of recent demographic shifts.
Based on 2011 DCAS spring scores (50% of the determination for PZ schools), Stanton students:
- Demonstrated much lower proficiency in both ELA and math than the district average (which in turn was lower than the state average).
- Proficiency in ELA was barely over half that of the district and state (32% vs. 62% in 6th grade). In math, 6th and 8th graders showed less than half the proficiency of the district and state (27% vs. 57% in 6th; 7th did slightly better but still underperformed).
- Showed mixed fall to spring growth, with some grades growing more than the state—notable for a school which feeds from other low-performers (including Marbrook, another PZ school). This suggests that Stanton’s low scores may partially be explained by the fact that their students enter less proficient than those of other middle schools in the state.
Based on DSTP historical trends (2008-2010, the other 50% of the determination), Stanton students:
- Have seen dramatic declines in ELA proficiency (as much as a 17 percentage point decrease). All grades were level in 2008 with the district and state but have declined much faster than either.
- Have performed worse than the district and state, and have seen significant declines in math proficiency (but less than ELA), compared to a district and state trend of staying level or seeing slight gains in proficiency.
Although some were surprised that Stanton was not accompanied by another middle school in Red Clay (A.I. Dupont performed worse on the DCAS), Stanton has not met AYP for four years, and its performance has been falling rapidly since 2008 (when it was nominated as a Blue Ribbon School). As with the other Red Clay schools chosen, Stanton has had success in the past in driving student achievement but needs strong leadership to reverse its current downward trend. The DDOE is reviewing requests for qualification from organizations who may be invited to present to districts and schools their innovative and proven strategies to turnaround low-performing schools.
Help Red Clay make the right decisions at their next School Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 21st at Warner Elementary. For additional information on Red Clay and the Partnership Zone, there will be a meeting on Oct. 3 at 6pm at Stanton.