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Newton County High School chosen for national study

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2003
DECATUR Newton County High School is one of 10 schools in the nation selected to participate in a study on how schools prepare students for success in college.
The school was chosen because of its strong scores on the English portion of the American College Test, or ACT, and its diverse student population. It received a Level 4, or "superior," accreditation level for this school year.
A pool of more than 4,000 schools nationwide was considered. Newton was the only school in Mississippi chosen to participate.
The study is called "On Course for Success." It is co-sponsored by ACT and the Education Trust, a data-gathering organization. The goal is to determine what elements of high school courses prepare students for college-level work.
Tadlock said Newton County High School was chosen because it met certain criteria. The sponsors were looking for schools where: at least 30 percent of the students were from minority groups; at least 60 percent of students qualified for free or reduced lunches; and some students scored an 18 or above, on a 36-point scale, on the English portion of the ACT.
In 2001 and 2002, 64 percent of the school's students who took the ACT earned scores at or above the established college-ready benchmark 18 or higher on the English portion.
Tadlock said the sponsors will study each graduating senior's transcripts for the past two years. They also will look at the English curriculum and interview teachers. Tadlock said representatives from the two groups might visit the school.