MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Education released report cards for the first time Thursday that contain letter grades for each public school system and individual public school across the state for the 2016-2017 school year.
All of the Alabama grades are viewable on the Alabama State Department of Education website.
Of Alabama's 137 school systems, 76 percent received either an A, B, or C; 73 percent of the schools without a Grade 12 received either an A, B, or C; and 77 percent of schools with a Grade 12 received an A, B, or C.
No school system received an F, but 95 schools without a Grade 12 and nine schools with a Grade 12 received an F.
The state introduced the Alabama State Report Card so students, parents, taxpayers, and others could easily understand how schools are doing, according to ALSDE officials. The goal of these report cards is to provide a starting point and to offer easy-to-understand and concise information on a particular school's progress.
ALSDE says the report card grading scale is based on five things: Academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate, college and career readiness and chronic absenteeism. The letter grades are then based on the total points earned for each section.
In the Montgomery Public School System, accountability indicators show the system with a 78.6 percent graduation rate, nine points below the state average.
The system scores just a 43 for college and career readiness when compared to a state level of 66. It also trails the state average for academic growth 79.8 to 87.8 and academic achievement 45 to 60.
Absenteeism, the percentage of students with more than 15 days of absences, stands at 16.5 percent. That's under the state average of 17.6.
Loveless Academic Magnet (LAMP) and Forest Avenue Elementary lead the way in the school system with perfect report card scores of 100. Fews Secondary Acceleration Academy saw the lowest score with a 48. There are 17 schools in the system with an F rating and another 16 with a D.
In the Autauga County School System, accountability indicators show the system falls in line with most state averages. It has a graduation rate of 86.4 percent, just a half-percentage point below the state average.
It exceeds state averages for academic achievement (65 to 60), academic growth (91.9 to 87.8), and college and career readiness (72 to 66).
Autauga County sees an absenteeism rate of 17.44 percent compared to the state average of 17.68.
While none of the system's schools managed an A on their report card, half of the 10 schools earned a B. The only school to drop to a D was Autaugaville School at 69.
In the Lowndes County School System, accountability indicators show a graduation rate at 88.8 percent, more than a percent and a half higher than the state average of 87. However, academic growth (37) and academic achievement (78.4) fall below the state averages of 60 and 87.8, respectively.
Lowndes County schools prepare students for college and careers at a rate of 64 percent, about 2 percentage points below the state average.
Chronic absenteeism stands at 16.3 percent, more than a percentage point better than the state average.
When looking at individual schools, however, none of the system's seven schools graded higher than a D, though four are on the bubble for a C at 69. The only school to receive an F was Hayneville Middle at 56.
The Elmore County School System beats state averages in ever accountability indicator.
It has an 88.76 percent graduation rate, above the state average of 87.86.
It exceeds state averages for academic achievement (63.9 to 60.2), academic growth (88.7 to 87.8) and college and career readiness at a full point above the state's rate of 66 percent.
As for absenteeism, Elmore County schools are a full point below the state's 17.68 percent of students that have missed more than 15 days of classes.
Of the 13 schools in the system, Redland Elementary was the only one to clock-in with an A at 90. Five others had Bs while the remaining schools had Cs. Holtville High had the lowest grade at a 70.
"We understand that the state report card was developed in a short period of time by the State Department of Education to meet state legislative and federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines, and changes were made in the contents of the report card up until immediately prior to its release," Elmore County Public Schools Superintendent Richard Dennis said. "Given the nature of the report card, we are not satisfied, but we are pleased with a "B" for the district. Our focus will continue to be on teaching the College and Career Ready Standards, academic achievement, and preparing our students to be successful in college or their chosen career field."
Dennis says the letter grade is a snapshot or the school and a conversation starter for communities, not about pointing fingers.
The Macon County school district received a D. All of the schools in the district received a D or F grade. Macon County Board of Education Superintendent Jacqueline Brooks said the score doesn't define the district but gives them "insight to develop and promote pathways to success."
Brooks released this statement:
SCHOOL DISTRICT GRADES
SCHOOLS LISTED BY DISTRICT