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5 DeKalb schools no longer among state’s low performers, officials say

Five DeKalb County schools have been removed from state list identifying struggling schools, after showing progress to close achievement gaps, state officials said Tuesday.

Four of the schools were deemed Focus schools — the bottom 10 percent of all Title I schools based on student achievement gap data, state test scores and graduation rates. One school was listed as a Priority school, in the bottom 5 percent of Title I schools.

“Each of those schools embraced the task and took the necessary steps to write the story of their turnaround,” Superintendent Steve Green said in a statement. “The most exciting part is that work is now underway to become even better.” 

DeKalb County School District officials say an intensive focus on school turnaround has seen consistent academic growth at the five schools over a three-year period. 

State Department of Education officials announced Tuesday that 74 of 243 schools were removed from the list, including about 25 from metro Atlanta. As part of changes made through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which allowed flexibility to some No Child Left Behind provisions, state officials were asked to identify low-performing schools.

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“Every school that made the necessary improvements to exit Priority or Focus School status deserves to be commended,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The ongoing work of these schools ... continues to move the needle and prove that underperforming schools can improve, even when they face difficult odds.” 

Here are the five DeKalb County schools removed are:

• Allgood Elementary School — Focus 

• Bob Mathis Elementary School — Focus 

• Columbia Middle School — Focus 

• Kelley Lake Elementary School — Focus 

• Redan High School — Priority   

Watch: 7 things to know about Georgia’s new plan for low-performing schools

Some call it “OSD lite” or “OSD plan b." It shares some characteristics of the Opportunity School District rejected by voters in a November referendum.

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