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ERIC Number: EJ766938
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Raising Expectations, Giving Hope
Principal Leadership, v5 n10 p22-27 Jun 2005
"Hold school!" was the directive that Principal Patricia Ashmore received from the deputy superintendent of Madison County Schools when she was appointed to Velma Jackson Magnet High School five years ago. The explicit instruction came as a direct result of looking at student achievement, attendance, and graduation data that confirmed the need to significantly raise expectations and the level of daily instruction. Students and staff in this economically depressed, rural school in Camden, Mississippi were content to use high school primarily as a place for community social activity. Football and band were top priorities; students were not expected to continue their education. Although the school district was under court order to desegregate, Jackson was so isolated and had such a poor academic reputation that students from the affluent southern part of the county would not consider transferring there. Five years later, indicators of student success at Velma Jackson are everywhere. All students are expected to pass state exams and 97% of the Class of 2004 went on to postsecondary education. The story of this school's amazing transformation is one of systematic planning, creative use of resources, and increased attention to curriculum development and instructional strategies focused on student achievement. This article describes the strategies employed by Velma Jackson in making itself personal, relevant and rigorous, and collaborative.
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: Mississippi