How do Tuscaloosa City and County schools compare to similar-sized schools systems in other parts of the state? That depends on what area of study you want to focus on, according one Birmingham-based research group.
This is the third year in a row that the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama studied the two Tuscaloosa area school systems.
PARCA is an independent research group that reports on issues it hopes will improve state and local government and schools. It compared both systems to eight other school systems, four city systems and four county systems.
PARCA pointed out that Tuscaloosa City spends about $4,500 per student per year.
Both systems did well compared to others when it comes to kids above the poverty level. But PARCA found areas of concern when it came to kids below the poverty line, especially in city schools.
For example, city school students below the poverty line did worse than state average when it came to math.
Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Paul McKendrick explained what it takes to make every city school student successful.
"With that data it makes you feel uncomfortable and so you've got to find comfort. And the way you're going to find comfort is you find success with children in all of these categories,” McKendrick said.
He added they have more work to do focus on smaller sub groups in minority students living in poverty.
McKendrick says they meet regularly about that to find the best method to help those kids where they struggle.
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