February 17, 2010 Edition

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Hoxie removed from
grade inflation list

Gretchen Hunt

The Hoxie School District has been removed from a grade inflation list that was previously released by the Arkansas Department of Education.

Supt. Dennis Truxler said he always believed Hoxie was included in error, but did not have time to verify before the list was released.

"I was disappointed that the report was sent to our district on a Tuesday and released to the media on Wednesday," he said. "I have asked the ADE why the district did not have a window of opportunity to check our data with the data reported, so far I have not received an answer."

The original report, which includes schools with 20 percent or greater grade inflation, listed Hoxie's inflation rate at 20.8 percent.

"When we checked our data we showed 10.5 percent, which is what the ADE now lists," Truxler said.

The grade inflation report compares the grades of high school students taking algebra I and geometry during the 2008-09 school year with their scores on the state's 2009 end-of-course exams for those courses. High schools in which 20 percent or more of the students made an A or B in the course but failed to score proficient or advanced on the exam were identified as having grade inflation.

Truxler said it was unfortunate that the original list included schools that were actually below the 20 percent mark.

"I had to answer questions of why Hoxie was on the 'Grade Inflation Report' to patrons and the school board," he said.

The revised list also eliminated five other high schools, reducing the number of schools listed statewide from 58 to 52.

Despite being removed from the list, Truxler said Hoxie School still hopes to improve on its current marks.

"We as a district believe 10.5 percent is too high, and we are addressing the issue," he said.

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