Bush Middle wins appeal, makes AYP after all

A major victory for Birmingham's Bush Middle School.{} It won its appeal to the Alabama{}Department of Education over whether the school made Adequate Yearly Progress.

The{}school was told it failed to make AYP{}because it had not met the goal of having 95% of its special education students participate in testing.{} The principal discovered an error, and it was in his{}school's{}favor.{}{}

Emeka Nzeocha saw that the state was counting one student, who moved out of state just before testing began, was being counted against the school. He appealed, and the state determined that the student was no longer in Alabama when the tests were given.

The win holds special significance because the school had not met its AYP{}goal for several years. The new principal made this victory a priority all year.

"We individualized instruction.{} We really taught those students," Nzeocha{}said. "We tried to focus on each student."{} "It took everybody stepping up, trying to help," he added{}"This place has to be about the kids."

"The success story at Bush proves how a visionary principal can inspire a faculty, staff and students to work harder and smarter and achieve more," said Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. "We are very proud of everyone at Bush and how much they have achieved in one year."

Adding Bush to the list of schools that made AYP means 68 percent of schools in the Birmingham City School System, or 34 of 50 schools, made AYP.