Eleven Alabama Schools Named Torchbearer Schools

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By Morgan Hightower

Eleven Alabama public schools have earned the prestigious title of Torchbearer School – a high-poverty public school that has overcome the odds to become a high-performing school.

Alabama’s *2010-2011 Torchbearer Schools are:
Wilkerson Middle School - Birmingham City
Huxford Elementary School - Escambia County
Harlan Elementary School - Florence City
Anna F. Booth Elementary School - Mobile County
Calcedeaver Elementary School - Mobile County
George Hall Elementary School - Mobile County
Holloway Elementary School - Mobile County
Morningside Elementary School - Mobile County
Spencer Elementary School - Mobile County
T. S. Morris Elementary School - Montgomery County
E.D. Nixon Elementary School - Montgomery County
*Selection based on 2009-2010 Test Results

State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton said, “We began the Torchbearer School Program in 2004 to recognize those public schools in Alabama that demonstrate the principle that all children can learn, despite whatever difficulties they may face. Torchbearer Schools light the way as places of learning that exhibit exemplary leadership and overcome adversity for all students to achieve.”

A Torchbearer School must meet all of the following criteria, as applicable:
•Identified as Meeting the Challenge School.
•Identified as Advancing the Challenge School.
•Identified as Exceeding the Challenge School.
•Have at least 80% poverty rate (percent free/reduced meals).
•Have at least 80% of students score Level III or Level IV on the reading section of the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test.
•Have at least 80% of students score Level III or Level IV on the mathematics section of the Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test.
•Have at least 65% of students score in stanines 5-9 on Stanford 10 reading.
•Have at least 65% of students score in stanines 5-9 on Stanford 10 mathematics.
•Have at least 95% of Grade 12 students pass all required subjects of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.
•Have a graduation rate above state average.
•Be in existence at the time of the award.

(Information Source: State Board of Education)