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Alexandria Elementary School Appealing Accreditation Decision

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The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2012-13 is 3 points lower than the percentage that earned the highest rating for 2011-12.
Travis Ekmark: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sayholatotravis/3796435103/
The percentage of schools earning full accreditation for 2012-13 is 3 points lower than the percentage that earned the highest rating for 2011-12.

One elementary school in Alexandria is appealing its denial of accreditation.

Jefferson-Houston Elementary School in Alexandria is the only school in Northern Virginia appealing a denial of accreditation. School administrator Mark Eisenhour acknowledges that performance has been dismal, but adds that they're working on it.

"We've replaced about 50 percent of the teachers over the last twelve months," says Eisenhour. "We've brought in a new leadership team. We've instituted a new curriculum, and now we're looking at even extending the day to make sure that students make progress at Jefferson-Houston."

Progress has been slow at this elementary school, one block from the King Street Metro, with a decade-long record of failing test scores and corrective measures. The school was accredited with warning last year, based on the plan to reconstitute the school.

Whatever is wrong with Jefferson-Houston, it's been going wrong for the last decade. Year after year, the school logs yet another round of failing grades.

Bea Porter's children went to the school 15 years ago, and her grandson is there now.

"I think if they can't bring up his education level by the time he's in fifth grade, I will do what I can to get him out of here," says Porter.

The State Board of Education is set to rule on the appeal in October. Ninety-six percent of Virginia's elementary schools are fully accredited for the 2012-13 school year.


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