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Lanphier Teachers Walk Out at Board Meeting
Local educators are firing back after being accused that they're not working hard enough when it comes to teaching African-American students in District 186.
Lanphier High School was given roughly $6 million in federal grants to improve test scores and better educate students.
The results of the School Improvement Grant were presented at the school board meeting Monday night. Overall, the data showed scores are improving. But when you break those numbers down further, there was a slight lag among African-American students.
School board member Judith Johnson said that is inexcusable, and teachers must work harder to turn it around. That statement caused the teachers to turn around--and walk right out of the meeting.
Springfield Education Association president Dan Ford, who represents the teachers' union, spoke to that frustration.
"They're not waiting for the next standardized test to come out," Ford said. "They're looking at data throughout the year that says, 'Are we meeting the needs of our students, and if not, what are we doing to make sure we are?' And so I think that's why they were so frustrated."
The grant allows for longer school days and a 30-minute enrichment period where students concentrate on reading or math.
There are also tutoring opportunities and ACT practice exams for 11th graders.
The process is not over. We are now in what teachers call the "sustainability year," where they're not only looking to maintain the improvements they've made, but also tweak programs that may not be working.
Math scores are of particular concern for the students at Lanphier. The numbers show while white students' math scores increased 10 percent between 2009 and 2013, African-American students saw a 2 percent increase during that same period of time.