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Three NASD Schools Identified as 'Low-Achieving' by Pa.

Whitehall Elementary joined Eisenhower and Stewart middle schools on the Department of Education's list of poor performers. Students at those schools may now be eligible to receive up to $15,000 in scholarship aid to attend a different school.

Three schools from the Norristown Area School District have once again appeared on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's list of low-achieving schools.

Eisenhower Middle School, Stewart Middle School, and Whitehall Elementary School each ranked in the bottom 15% of aggregated Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) math and reading test results for the 2011-12 school year. Both Eisenhower and Stewart appeared on last year's list as well.

For students living in areas served by those schools, the "low-achieving" designation could mean eligibility to take advantage of the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTCP). The program offers up to $15,000 to attend a non-public school or a public school in a district where they do not reside.

The financial criteria determining eligibility for an "Opportunity Scholarship" are changing later this year. Until June 30, a student's family can not have annual household income above $60,000, plus $12,000 for each dependent member of the household. After June 30, the baseline figure increases from $60,000 to $75,000.

The program is funded by businesses who contribute to scholarship providers in exchange for a tax credit, and the number of scholarships awarded is ultimately dependent upon whether sufficient funds are available.

A list of scholarship providers to which students may apply is available at http://www.newpa.com/ostc.

Last year, Eisenhower and Stewart were joined on the list by Norristown High School, prompting the school district to argue that the state's assessment methodology was flawed.

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Related Story:

Norristown Area School District Says State Report is Wrong

Marybeth Monaghan February 05, 2013 at 02:56 PM
It is working Mr.Corbett...shame on you.Private school are already planning new buildings thanks to your fake scholarship program...schools in Bryn Mawr and Ardmore...wow...and instead of spending the money to make these three Norristown schools better,you are giving money to private and religious schools. Why?Philadelphia is anticipating closing 37 public schools...Norristown has closed how many? Time to stand up and ask questions folks and demand answers. Our esteemed leader has gotten carried away with his temporary power...to heck with our public schools...says he and to heck with our lottery...Canadian teacher pension fund will get the "overflow" money from that. Whivh means the money OUR seniors don't need! First,how about checking with the ones who are barely surviving?
Sally19401 February 05, 2013 at 03:58 PM
What are they doing to upgrade those schools? It hardly seems that giving scholarships to those students help the school improve their performance. Let's fix the root cause not encourage people to transfer schools.
worldpeace2013 February 05, 2013 at 05:54 PM
its the parents they do not get jnvolved in the vhildrens education . the students will do bad on tests regardless of what school they go to this is because it sucks to suck
Jennifer February 05, 2013 at 06:39 PM
When you are pushed ahead and haven't learned how to divide or multiply this is what you end up with. Children who come from disadvantage homes can still pay attention and ask questions and be educated even if the parents aren't involved. The school districts can't afford to hold half of the ninth grade class back because of test scores. Until we make sure that the children actually grasp the lesson and aren't pushed ahead they will have difficulty until they graduate and as adults unable to find a factory job for their level of education..it's a chain of destruction
Jennifer February 05, 2013 at 06:40 PM
thank you No Child Left Behind!
Jess February 05, 2013 at 09:32 PM
This is totally not the reason why. If there is a parent that isn't involved they students should still be learning because it is mainly the teachers job. I totally agree parents need to be involved but like I said, they should still be learning from the teachers.
Jess February 05, 2013 at 09:35 PM
My 8 year old son goes to Whitehall and he is above average in Math and Reading. My 7 year old daughter is in an advanced Reading class and they both have good grades in everything else. I'm happy as a parent with Whitehall. They have good teachers that communicate well with us.
ernie hadrick February 05, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Thanks to those who support NASD schools. I have seen the district from the inside and know that scores, etc don't tell the story. We do have issues, as do our neighboring school districts. However, if you believe the hype or comments about uninvolved parents, you miss the whole deal. WorldPeace, stop passing negative vibe; visit a school and get the truth.
sharon moyer February 06, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Jess, I'm with you!!! My daughter goes there and Whitehall is the best!! The only thing I'm sorry about is it's her last year there. We will miss EVERYONE there. THEY ARE THE BEST!!!!!!
commonsense February 10, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Just as it is the barber/stylist job to cut our hair, to which they are paid, It is the responsibility of the school teachers to teach these children...we cannot place the blame of failing students on the parents when the parents DO NOT sit in the classrooms...yes, the parents need to make sure the kids are doing their homework and special projects but the kids go to school for the proper education....otherwise, all kids would be "home schooled" and we wouldn't need school teachers... then you could blame the parents!
Jennifer LeBlanc February 10, 2013 at 04:20 PM
People should realize that when children in a different economic and social classes mix together, the children who do care about their education are receiving watered down quality of learning NOT because of TEACHER performance but because there are students in the classroom who do not want to be there. They interrupt the learning process, are rude and disrespect not only the teacher but all the other students in the classroom. When schools are 'graded' on performance, it is not fair group them together with inadequate Teaching. Low performance is because students are rude, interrupt the classroom learning time and teachers are not ABLE to teach! The few disrespectful students per classroom cause this bedlam. Each school is a melting pot of the whole town. Pockets of caring and non caring children get mixed together. This is a shame because the clientele of students are what make the grade and receive watered down classes. If the 'problem children' are removed from the classroom (hand picked by the ACTUAL teacher) I am certain the schools would receive better grades than shown previously!
Marybeth Monaghan February 10, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Instead of looking to place "blame" how about spending the fake "scholarship money"on improving these three schools? Public education must not go away or we are in really big trouble as a country. Improving does not mean bursting in with a SWAT team of "fixers" and slashing and burning...it means taking the time to work with what you have and make it better...new standards(not no child left behind,please)and aides in each classroom(skip money to private and religious schools and aides become affordable...yes they do!) As taxpayers and folks concerned about our children and their future we need answers...the lottery was done in a very interesting fashion(???)and now,Mr.Corbett a major thank you from the Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund and a few questions from PA. citizens...or are you so far above questions? No need for you to answer the,"rank and file"?Remember,the rank and file do vote! So far,we still have that right.
big jon February 11, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Lol I wish my son went to one of those schools I would try my best to get my kids out to a better school..it's not the teaches fault it's the parents fault from birth and the problem kids who don't want to learn and rather watch tv,play video games which there parents let them do for hours a day since birth. I have 4 kids. One in Marshall elementary who is in enrichment/discovery classes and in the top of his entire grade in math and reading. if Marshall elementary was on this list I would get my son out to a better district in a heartbeat. Don't blame the teachers most do a great job blame the parents and kids who don't care

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