Ellis, others, to brainstorm ideas about failing Southside academics at meeting

Education leaders concerned about improving school performance in Monroe’s southside schools will meet Thursday evening to exchange ideas about what can be done to improve student performance.

Autry Bright, head of Carroll High School Alumni and Friends Association, announced this week that the organization will sponsor the 90-minute think tank session to address concerns about failing student performance at Carroll and Wossman High schools, as well as all Southside elementary and Jr. High Schools.

Bright said Ashley Ellis, the 5th District representative to the state BESE board, is expected to attend along with several elected officials who receive input and share ideas about what some see as a state accountability program that is measuring but not addressing learning deficiencies in Monroe’s Southside schools.

Bright said the association is concerned that all South Monroe schools have less than basic academic performance. She said even though Wossman has a letter grade of “A” the school’s academic performance, in recent state reports, dropped to an “F” with an average 15 ACT score.

She said Carroll is listed as a “C” school but its academic performance is recorded as “F” with a 15 ACT score.

She said the letter grades are misleading because parents often don’t see the underlying data that comprise a letter grade

Recent state test results showed that Monroe City Schools overall had a high C, based on the performance of its Northside schools.

Bright said the Association hopes Thursday’s meeting will begin a dialogue to pinpoint solutions that will address the poor performance of students.

In the November meeting of the city school board, Bill Willson, president of the board praised Superintendent Brent Vidrine for the overall school performance of the district. Willson said Vidrine is doing the best he can considering the myriad of social issues city school students face including: single parent families, poor home study habits, and poverty.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Marbles Recreation Center on Renwick Street.