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ERIC Number: EJ1006998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
From Close It down to Build It up
McDaniel, Teresa; Jones, Eric
Principal Leadership, v13 n6 p36-40 Feb 2013
Imagine a school where students walked out of class if they didn't agree with the teacher; where gang violence was prevalent both in and around the school; and where enrollment had dropped from 1,800 students in the mid-'90s to fewer than 500 in 2009, that is the school culture at Jackson Central-Merry High School in Jackson, TN. At the request of the director of schools, the state agreed to let the school participate in the district-led Fresh Start initiative, rather than face a state takeover. A new principal was hired, the district made the school a health sciences magnet school, and the name was changed to Jackson Central-Merry Academy of Medical Technology. The principal and his administrative staff created a vision of a school where students would achieve academic success, earn a high school diploma, and pursue postsecondary education. To achieve that vision, the team began by improving school culture and student achievement, with an emphasis on literacy. After some time, there were some impressive indicators to suggest that they are headed in the right direction. Their enrollment increased from 450 students in 2009 to 702 in 2012; 99 of whom are in the health science magnet program. Teacher retention improved from 70% to 88% in 2012. Their graduation rate has increased from 57% in 2008 to 91% in 2012.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests