Teacher lifts culture at AV high
He supports a new structure to raise scores
LANCASTER, Calif.—Antelope Valley High School underwent major changes in 2011, including the reassignment of 50 percent of its teachers. The school earlier had been declared a Tier II school, which includes the tag of being designated as low-achieving based on testing or graduation rates.
AV High’s troubles extended back as far as 2003, when five top administrators were replaced in an effort to revamp the campus. According to the Los Angeles Times, the action was taken due to the school leaders’ inability to improve student academic performance on standardized tests over a two-year period.
In the 2003-04 school year, of the students who took the California state test, an overwhelming majority scored basic, below basic and far below basic in language arts and math, African American students being the worse among them. The numbers hardly fared differently in the 2006-07 and 2009-10 school years, but in fact looked hopeless.
Additionally, the school’s Academic Performance Index scores were consistently low, particularly between 2006 and 2011. In the 2005-06 school year, the school reached a low score of 584, and African American students managed to gain a mere 522 score, the second lowest of the school, just above students with disabilities and below English Learners. In the 2010-11 school year, the score only improved 8 points, continuing a failure to reach their goal for several consecutive years. Again, Blacks students scored significantly low with a 526 score, several points below English Learners.
Mark Bryant, assistant superintendent for the Antelope Valley High School District, acknowledged that AV High was considered a low-performing school, which means it has been
consistently struggling to meet achievement goals and to serve students efficiently.
“AV High School is currently undergoing a turnaround model. One part of it is to basically restructure the faculty in a way that means replacing 50 percent and at most rehiring 50 percent,” he explained.
Among the rehires was Jeff Patterson, an honors English and AVID instructor for 19 years. Patterson recognized the disparaging failure rates among students, especially African American males, and believes Black students need a different kind of learning structure.
Patterson is determined to not only bring up scores, but prepare young Black students for their future.
LANCASTER, Calif.—Antelope Valley High School recently underwent major changes, including the reassignment of 50 percent of its teachers. The school has been in hot water before, being declared a Tier II school. According to the California Department of Education, a Tier II institution is one that falls under certain criteria, including the tag as a low-achieving school based on testing or graduation rates.
LANCASTER, Calif.—Two armed robbery suspects were arrested after a six-hour standoff with authorities in Lancaster, sheriff’s officials said.
The barricade began around 2 p.m. after sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve an arrest warrant at a home in the 300 block of West Kettering Street near Antelope Valley High School, said Deputy Pete Gomez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
The suspect, identified as 38-year-old Michael Volger, was believed to be armed with other people inside the home.
In the 31 years she has worked at the Compton Adult School, Saundra Bishop says this is the worst financial situation the program has faced.
“Bar none. It’s the worst time for education period, but adult education specifically and other categorical programs in general,” said the longtime director of the Compton Adult School.
LANCASTER, Calif.—For years parents and community activists have been concerned about a growing school trend—truancy tickets, also known as curfew tickets. The tickets are issued to minors who are found off school premises during school hours without a guardian.
Not only are off-campus teen loiterers being ticketed, but also late students, some arriving a few minutes after the bell rings.
PALMDALE, Calif. —Black history month is just around the corner and the Antelope Valley is abuzz as a group of high school students gear up to showcase their knowledge of Black history in February.
African history lecturer Jamaal Brown, 28, who some recognize as the local griot, or oral historian, is getting ready to introduce the area to a more fun and competitive way of learning and appreciating Black history.