The Harbinger Home Page
Front Page
E-Mail

April 11, 2000

"How Are We Doing?"
The Official Word On Mobile & Baldwin Countiesí Environment & Education

Progress Indicators for Education

Standard Achievement Test Scores, Mobile and Baldwin County

ENVISION STRATEGY

Expect all students to graduate from high school ready to go to college, continuing training at a two-year college, or go immediately into the workforce.

TECHNICAL NOTES

Stanford Achievement Tests are given to students in grades 3 through 11 statewide. Alabama changed its method of calculating percentile scores for the 95-96 school year, so results from prior years are not reported here. Scores range from 1 to 99. A score of 50 is said to be the mid point of the national distribution of scores.

CONCLUSION

Stanford Achievement Test averages battery scores peaked in both counties during the 1996-97 school year, and have declined slight since.

ANNUAL SAT AVERAGE BATTERY SCORE

YearMobileBaldwin
1995-965059
1996-975361
1997-985159
1998-995158

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.


Percent Passing High School Exit Exam on First Attempt

ENVISION STRATEGY

Expect all students to graduate from high school ready to go to college, continue training at a two-year college, or go immediately into the workforce.

TECHNICAL NOTES

This indicator specifies the percentage of 11th and 12th graders who passed the high school exit exam on the first attempt. Students who fail are allowed additional attempts to pass the test. The version of the exit exam reported here is regarded as a minimal measure of skills and knowledge acquisition during high school. A new, much tougher, exit exam is scheduled to be implemented during the 2000-2001 school year.

PERCENT PASSING PER SUBJECT -- MOBILE

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Reading85.482.681.783.479.9
Language70.469.973.071.070.5
Math77.076.675.176.473.2

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.

CONCLUSION

From 1994-95 to 1998-99, the percentage of Mobile County public school students passing the high school exit exam in reading and math on the first attempt declined overall. The percentage of students passing the language component on the first attempt has changed very little during the same time period. In the most recent ďReport Card,Ē the State Department of Education graded the Mobile County system below average for language and math, and average for reading.

PERCENT PASSING PER SUBJECT -- BALDWIN

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Reading89.289.689.791.390.8
Language77.979.279.880.281.4
Math80.582.481.385.283.3

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.

CONCLUSION

From 1994-95 to 1998-99, modest increases occurred in the percentage of Baldwin County public school students passing the high school exit exam on the first attempt. In the most recent ďReport Card,Ē the State Department of Education graded the Baldwin County system slight below average for language, average for math, and above average for reading.


Percent of Seniors Passing Exit Exam, All Attempts

ENVISION STRATEGY

Expect all students to graduate from high school ready to go to college, continue training at a two-year college, or go immediately into the workforce.

TECHNICAL NOTES

This indicator specifies the percentage of 12th graders who passed the high school exit exam, regardless of number of attempts. Students who fail their first try are allowed additional attempts to pass the test. The version of the exit exam reported here is regarded as a minimal measure of skill and knowledge acquisition during high school. A new, much tougher, exist exam is scheduled to be implemented during the 2000-2001 school year.

PERCENT PASSING PER SUBJECT -- MOBILE

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Reading93.692.690.683.693.6
Language86.286.286.086.889.4
Math90.090.388.886.791.5

CONCLUSION

In the most recent year, the percentage of Mobile County public school seniors passing the high school exit exam increased significantly in all three academic areas. Prior to this recent improvement, scores in reading and math had a downward trend from 1994-95 to 1997-98.

PERCENT PASSING PER SUBJECT -- BALDWIN

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Reading95.995.795.388.496
Language91.491.491.890.491.9
Math91.891.593.789.393.6

CONCLUSION

During the 1997-98 school year, the percentage of seniors passing the exit exam fell in all three academic areas. The following year, 1998-99, the percentage passing the exam recovered to the levels of 1994-95 through 1996-97.


Projected Four Year Dropout Rate for Grades 9-12, Mobile and Baldwin Counties

ENVISION STRATEGY

Expect all students to graduate from high school ready to go to college, continue training at a two-year college, or go immediately into the workforce.

TECHNICAL NOTES

This measure estimates the cumulative percentage of the 9th grade class that would drop out, if that yearís grade (10th, 11th and 12th) specific rates were to remain constant in subsequent years. The average for the nation is 17.6%. The procedure for calculating these estimates was developed by the National Center for Education Statistics.

CONCLUSION

From 1994-95 to 1997-98, the projected four year dropout rates for grades 9-12 have decreased dramatically for Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools.

ANNUAL DROPOUT PERCENT

 1994-951995-961996-971997-98
Mobile29.021.919.016.2
Baldwin27.821.116.815.5

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.


Advanced Certification of Teachers, Mobile and Baldwin Counties

ENVISION STRATEGY

Expect teachers to meet highest quality standards, be adaptable to changes in curriculum requirements, proficient in use of technology, and stay current with the advances in their subject matter. Ensure that all teachers are proficient in the subject matter they are teaching.

TECHNICAL NOTES

Certificates are issued based on the completion of approved programs of study and other requirements at the following levels: Class B (Bachelorís level); Class A (Masterís level); and Class AA (6th year level). All teachers in each system have obtained at least a Class B certificate. Completion of advanced certificates (class A or AA) may be regarded as one predictor of quality of teaching performance.

CONCLUSION

The percentage of teachers in the Mobile County and Baldwin County School Systems who have achieved advanced certificates has fluctuated during the last five years. The percentage increased from 1994-95 through 1996-97, declined significantly in 1997-98, then increased dramatically during the most recent school year (1998-99). The percentage of teachers with advanced certificates in each county was higher in 1998-99 than in any of the previous four years.

PERCENTAGE WITH ADVANCED CERTIFICATION

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Mobile46.548.34943.653.8
Baldwin49.250.251.745.858.4

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.


Number of Disciplinary Actions, Mobile County Public Schools

ENVISION STRATEGY

Provide a safe environment for learning. Provide alternative schools for disruptive students.

TECHNICAL NOTES

Number of violations of Student Code of Conduct as reported by officials to central administration of Mobile County Public Schools are reported here. Totals include Group B, C, and D offenses. Group B offenses are considered moderate offenses. Examples include fighting, gambling, and cutting class or truancy. Class C offenses are considered serious offenses. Examples include arson, theft of property, and burglary. Class D offenses are those involving substance abuse.

CONCLUSION

From 1992-93 to 1996-97, the number of Class B, C, and D violations of the Student Code of Conduct in the Mobile County Public Schools increased modestly (approximately 8%). Since the 1996-97 school year, the total number of violations has decreased substantially (approximately 18%). The number of violations for the most recent year available (1998-99) is the lowest total reported in the last seven years.

NUMBER OF DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Total12,62113,83212,91311,71810,546

Source: Division of Student Support Service, Mobile County Public Schools.


Number of Weapon Violations, Mobile County Public Schools

ENVISION STRATEGY

Provide a safe environment for learning. Provide alternative schools for disruptive students.

TECHNICAL NOTES

Number of Class E violations of Student Code of Conduct as reported by officials to central administration of Mobile County Public Schools are reported here. Group E offenses are weapons violations, including possessing, using, selling, furnishing, giving away, transferring, distributing or obtaining a firearm, explosives, or other weapons.

CONCLUSION

From 1992-93 to 1997-98, the number of weapon violations of the Student Code of Conduct in the Mobile County Public Schools decreased substantially. For the most recent year (1998-99) some of that progress was reversed. The number of weapons violations in 1998-99 was the highest number reported since the 1994-95 school year.

NUMBER OF WEAPON VIOLATIONS

 1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99
Total16715611175161

Source: Division of Student Support Service, Mobile County Public Schools.


Black/White Segregation, Mobile County Public Schools

ENVISION STRATEGY

Ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities and facilities.

TECHNICAL NOTES

School segregation is measured by the index of dissimilarity, which means the proportion of African American students that would have to change schools for the public school system to achieve an even distribution of whites and blacks. The index ranges from 0 (perfectly integrated) to 1 (perfectly segregated). Due to corrections in the data supplied by the Mobile County Public Schools, the index values for the 1991-97 have been adjusted from those published in the first edition of Progress Indicators report. The 1998 Mobile United Poll showed that majorities of Mobile County residents expressed support for an integrated school system (78%), and for government involvement in seeing that school integration is achieved (58%).

CONCLUSION

Despite the efforts of the federal courts, and that of Mobile County Public Schools, de facto segregation of the schools increased from 1991 to 1998. This finding is not unique to Mobile County since increasing racial segregation is a common trend among the nationís public school systems.

BLACK/WHITE SCHOOL SEGREGATION

 19911992199319941995199619971998
MCPS.55.57.57.60.59.62.63.65

Source: Division of Student Support Service, Mobile County Public Schools.


Expenditure Per Student, Mobile and Baldwin Counties

ENVISION STRATEGY

Provide an annual report card on each school comparing the schoolís performance to agreed upon performance standards for students and teachers, administration/teacher ratios, per pupil funding, parental evaluation of teachers and school principals, and other criteria indicative of school quality.

TECHNICAL NOTES

This indicator measures funds expended in the operation of local public schools, excluding capital outlay and interest on school debt. These expenditures include such items as salaries for school personnel, fixed charges, student transportation, school books, and materials and energy costs. Total expenditures are divided by the average daily attendance for each school system.

CONCLUSION

Baldwin County expenditures per student are slightly higher than those for Mobile County. For the 1997-98 school year, expenditures in Mobile fell below the average for the state, while Baldwinís remained slightly higher. Both systemsí expenditures fall below those for the region and the nation.

EXPENDITURES PER STUDENT (in Dollars)

 1996-971997-98
Mobile County$4515$4706
Baldwin County$4614$5028
State Average$4479$4948
Southeast Average$5410$5620
U.S. Average$6103$6335

Source: Alabama State Superintendentís Report Card, Alabama State Department of Education.


The Harbinger