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Meade School: Good job! Good job!

By Frank Murphy on Aug 30, 2010 03:01 PM

AYP imageEight years have passed since that first day when I opened a package that contained the PSSA test scores for Meade School. The results were dismal. Only four of my 48 5th grade students scored at the proficient level in either the reading or math test. An additional handful of students scored in the basic category and the remaining 80 percent were below basic performers. 

Three years later in 2005, our test scores finally met the targets for making AYP. Meade has remained in this status for the last five years.

Governor Rendell joined Superintendent Arlene Ackerman at a press event at Lincoln High School in Philadelphia. They announced that 59 percent of the schools in Philadelphia had made AYP. This represented 158 of the District’s 267 schools. Interestingly, 32 of the schools making AYP are designated as Empowerment Schools. Meade was one of the schools acknowledged at this event. 

Since 2002, the Meade test scores have shown considerable improvement. We have on our own built upon and expanded the strengths of our instructional program. This year 44 percent of our students scored at the proficient and advanced levels on the reading test. In math, 56 percent of the students scored at these levels. Even more impressive is the large decrease in the number of our students who are scoring at the below basic level (33 percent in reading and 24.6 percent in math). 

During the years that I was principal of Meade, we regularly conducted school-wide assemblies. These gatherings provided an opportunity for our students and staff to share in and celebrate one another’s successes. Students performed mini-concerts and individual classrooms did presentations. Every classroom in the school would give at least one performance during the year. At the end of each presentation, the entire audience would chant, “Good job! Good job!” In this way we affirmed and saluted every individual’s contributions to our school organization. 

I do the same now, as I acknowledge the great work of the teachers and students of Meade School in once again making AYP.   I like to think that the jubilant principals referenced in Ron Whitehorne’s recent post, will do the same at their own schools.  

Good job! Good job!

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Comments (19)

Submitted by Bobbie Cratchit (not verified) on August 31, 2010 9:36 am

The Meade School has shown what true "school reform" takes: A dedicated staff, a focus on improving the art of teaching, respecting where students are and showing them how far they can go.The students at Meade benefited from initiatives that, over time, made growth possible. There were no scripts or test prep classes, just a staff willing to do their best for their students and students who were engaged in learning. Frank, your stewardship of this staff also contributed to Meade's success as you guided teachers and students as a community of learners. Good Job! Good Job! Meade could teach Arne Duncan and his crew a thing or two!

Submitted by hmann1951 (not verified) on August 31, 2010 4:53 pm

Accolades to all staff, students, and parents of the Meade School Family!

The entire school community deserves recognition and congratulations for a job well done. Parents, thank you for sending your students to school on time each every day for the benefit of a solid instructional program. Students, thank you for coming to school each and every day with your full attention to the learning tasks at hand. Staff, thank you for your commitment to students and belief in the instructional program of meeting students where they are and taking them to their utmost potential of being proficient readers, writers, and problem solvers. Frank, thank you for your leadership. Your leadership model is one that exudes belief in teachers and students alike.

Submitted by Meg (not verified) on August 31, 2010 4:01 pm

This is an extremely emotional time at Meade. While we know we can shine with hard work and dedication, we struggle to continue this growth with so many new things being thrown at us. We know we can continue to grow. We know what it takes, but it very hard to do this with no administrative support outside our own walls. We lost Frank and that is a loss we are all feeling. The stress, confusion, and general feeling of sucess are mixing in together. WE know we did a good job. It is rewarding to read the congratulations here. We know we can continue this and we need to... Honestly, we just hope we get the chance to keep our kids moving forward. They need, We need it and we can do it.
Thanks, again, Frank for all you have done and continue to do for our kids.

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