When the school accreditation results were released last October, MLK Middle’s status was listed as “to be determined.” In a press release on Thursday, the VDOE reported that the school has been denied accredidation.
The 2015-2016 school year is the first for the school under Principal Derrick Scarborough and a somewhat reconstituted staff after years of ineffectual leadership, a disintegrating culture, and plummeting test scores. Word has it that Scarborough has been given job #1 to first rebuilt the environment and culture at MLK instead of chasing standardized test results. This has been (for the most part) the most outwardly quiet year at the school in a while.
When a school is denied state accreditation, the local school board must submit a corrective action plan to the Board of Education and enter into a binding memorandum of understanding with the state board detailing steps to be taken to raise student achievement to state standards. Schools denied accreditation, however, do not lose state funding, nor are they subject to state takeover.
Elementary and middle schools are Fully Accredited if students achieve all of the following pass rates:
- English – 75 percent or higher
- Mathematics – 70 percent or higher
- Science – 70 percent or higher
- History – 70 percent or higher
In addition to Fully Accredited and Accreditation Denied, there are a number of new status options this year, including:
- Partially Accredited: Approaching Benchmark-Pass Rate, Approaching Benchmark-Graduation and Completion Index (essentially very close to passing)
- Partially Accredited: Improving School-Pass Rate, Improving School-Graduation and Completion Index (essentially made enough of an improvement from last year)
- Partially Accredited: Warned School-Pass Rate, Warned School-Graduation and Completion Index (essentially did not make the score, was not close, did not improve, but hasn’t been bad long enough to lose accreditation)
- Partially Accredited-Reconstituted School (did not meet the requirements for full accreditation for four consecutive years and has been reconstituted, and has not made it to one of the other categories yet)