Zora Ellis Junior High only school in area on 'failing school' list
by Chris Norwood
The new list of Alabama’s “failing schools” has been published, and Zora Ellis Junior High School is the only one in Talladega or St. Clair County to make the list.

Under a bill approved by the state legislature earlier this year, parents of students at Ellis will be eligible for tax credits worth about $3,500 per year to pay for their children to attend non-failing public schools or private or parochial schools.

Talladega City Schools Superintendent Doug Campbell explained that Ellis’s classification was based on “the last six years. If it had been based on the last five years, then Ellis wouldn’t have made the list. We’ve got a lot of things in the pipeline that we’re going to be looking at going forward, but if you look at the scores for the last six years, you will see that they are moving in a positive direction.”

And, Campbell added, Ellis’s designation may change soon, based on scores for the current school year. “It will probably be November, December or January before we have the 2013 scores in. But what was currently put out is based on the scores from 2007 to 2012. Once the 2013 scores are in, the 2007 scores will roll off. We don’t know how the scores will relate with the new information, which we won’t have probably until the next school year.”

Campbell pointed out that the recent trend at Ellis had been an upward swing in test scores, which he expected to continue in the coming year.

Ellis’s listing on the failing schools list coincides with a change of leadership at the Talladega City Schools only junior high school. The Board of Education accepted the resignation of Principal Scott Bailey during their regular monthly meeting Monday evening.

Campbell said Bailey’s contract will continue to run through the end of the summer, at which point the interview process will get under way.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2013