Local schools show improvement under new failing schools list

The Alabama Department of Education just released a new list of 76 failing schools under the Alabama Accountability Act. Of those, 24 are in Central Alabama- 8 within the Birmingham City Schools district. It's an improvement.

These schools came off the list:

Brighton Middle School in Jefferson County

Robinson Elementary School in Birmingham

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Tuscaloosa

Three schols came off because they closed- Hill Elementary School in Birmingham, Center Street Middle in Birmingham and Tarrant Middle School in Tarrant.

In Central Alabama, there was one addition- Bessemer City High School in Birmingham.

Otherwise, the list remains the same. Those remaining schools are:

Anniston Middle School in Anniston City

Bush Middle School, Green Acres Middle School, Hayes K-8, Martha Gaskins Middle School, WE Putnam Middle School, Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School, Arrington Middle School and Wylam K-8 in Birmingham City

Cullman Child Development Center in Cullman County

Forest Hills Middle School in Fairfield City

Litchfield Middle Schools in Gadsden City

Greene County High School and Carver Middle School in Greene County

Greensboro High School in Hale County

Center Point High School in Jefferson County

Midfield High School in Midfield City

Pickens County High School in Pickens County

Linda Nolen Learning Center in Shelby County

Zora Ellis Junior High School in Talladega City

Central High School and Westlawn Middle School in Tuscaloosa City

Davis-Emerson Middle School in Tuscaloosa County

The state took a look at reading and math scores over the last six years. Some of the schools made the list for being low performing. But most on the list were at the bottom six percent of state schools during that period of time.

The Alabama Accountability Act was passed to give schools greater flexibility. Part of it allows for students to transfer out of schools deemed failing. Those transferring students are eligible for a tax credit to help cover private school tuition.

The first list was released in June. There were 78 schools including 26 in Central Alabama. Birmingham City Schools had the most with 11 on the original list.

Since the first release, around 700 students have transferred out of failing schools.