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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Northview, Clay City named Best Buy schools

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jeff Bell
Both high schools in the Clay Community School Corporation have been named as Indiana's Chamber of Commerce Best Buy schools as well as honor roll schools.

"I am very proud that Northview High School and Clay City Jr./Sr. High School were named to the 'Best Buy' honor roll list." Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "Only 26 of 357 Indiana public high schools were named to the list and this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our administration, faculty, staff, and students."

Best Buy schools provide taxpayers the best education for their money and honor roll schools are the schools that have still achieved academically despite the high percentage of students that live at or near poverty level.

"It speaks of our ability to provide a quality education at a reasonable price," Schroeder said.

All data used in the Best Buys report was provided by the Indiana Department of Education.

Dan Schroeder
In order to assess school performance, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce developed a rating system for each high school called Quality Index (QI). The system includes Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) pass rates, ISTEP+ pass+ rates, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) participation rates and average composite scores, adjusted graduation rates, and Advanced Placement (AP) participation rates and passing scores.

The QI then compares each school's total revenues per pupil to identify the state's Best Buys. From those schools, honor roll schools are determined by their participation in the federal free/reduced lunch program and those with participation rates above the state median.

For one school this makes the fourth year in a row to receive this distinction.

"We are extremely proud of this honor," Clay City Principal Jeff Bell said. "Our faculty, staff, students, and entire school community continue to do a wonderful job. We want to make our community proud and hope that they are."

For another school, this is the first time in 11 years to receive the honor.

"I have to tell you that I am extremely pleased with and honored by the distinction," Northview Principal Tim Rayle said. "I have no doubt Northview High School received this award due to the dedication of our faculty, staff, students, parents and the community in general regarding the efforts and importance we have been putting towards education."

For 2009, there were a total of 135 public high schools chosen as a "Best Buy." From there, 26 high schools were given the "honor roll" merit for excelling academically despite having an at-risk student population.

Tim Rayle
"All of the Best Buy schools are getting the utmost out of their taxpayer dollars by, in turn, delivering high-quality education to their students," Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said in a press release. "This balancing act of limited funding while realizing a varied and competitive education is no easy task.

"Businesses and communities in these areas should be very proud of what their schools are achieving and how their students are being readied for further education paths and a competitive job market."

To have both schools receive the recognition is impressive and both principals are proud of not only their own school but the other as well.

"It definitely shows that when everyone works together, programs can be successful," Rayle said. "It's nice to be recognized along with (Bell) and Clay City High School for providing quality education for the children in the Clay Community School District."

"I also want to congratulate (Rayle) and the school community at Northview High School," Bell added. "This is wonderful news for all of Clay County."

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While I applaud the the schools receiving this award, on reading the methodology used in preparing it I find that the report is NOT based on expenditures by the individual schools or even on per-student revenues associated with each specific high school.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce compares what data it has, from IDOE databases, on the specific school to the dollar amount of revenue, per student,taken by the corporation. While it is nice to receive this award, it is nothing to base our future decisions upon.

It really is as meaningless as if it came from any organization such as the National Football League when you look at the facts and read the report.

There is a dollar amount that everyone, taxpayers, educators, school administrators, and law-makers, should be looking at but no one seems to know what that figure is in this corporation or, indeed, in this state. That figure would be the base cost of education as required by state law.

Just what does it cost to educate a student to the minimum requirement of the law to receive a diploma and how does that compare to what we are spending? We must pay out that sum, but are we getting the maximum out of every dollar we expend above that amount? What are we expending that we do not need to as it has little effect on education and how much can we move back into the classrooms where it will benefit the student's education?

Whenever the taxpayer's hard earned money is spent it needs to be spent on the goal it was taken to accomplish. The goal of our schools is to educate, so let's get back to Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic to the maximum at minimal costs.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Dec 23, 2009, at 3:05 PM

Congratulations Northview and Clay City.......a very nice distinction for our schools and something to be very proud of. Nobody picked the honor roll schools from a box of Cracker Jack! Continue educating our future generations to the best of your ability. I for one, think this distinction is worthy of praise!

Happy New Year!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Dec 30, 2009, at 11:02 AM

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