Our View: Andrews High ... take a bow

Mar. 28, 2013 @ 02:31 AM

Students, teachers and administrators at T. Wingate Andrews High School should take a bow. And they also should be very proud of the recognition they received a week ago.
Last Thursday, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, during its annual luncheon, presented Andrews High with the foundation’s Hubert B. Humphrey Jr. School Improvement Award. Andrews Principal Rodney Wilds, who is in his fourth year as principal, accepted the award on behalf of the school.
The annual award is given to the school in Guilford County that shows the greatest improvement in student achievement “through sound educational practices, community outreach and collaborative relationships.” In the past few years, that phrase defines improvements at Andrews.
Last year, the school’s graduation rate rose to 87.6 percent, up from 80.1 percent in 2011. Additionally, Andrews’ composite score for end-of-course testing rose to 64.3 percent proficient last year, up from 58.6 percent proficient in 2011. And especially notable, student performance in Algebra I showed an impressive gain of more than 20 percentage points last year. For 2012, Andrews students scored 69.0 percent, up from 48.7 percent in 2011.
These improvements in student performance at Andrews are even more special when one considers that in the not-too-distant past, Andrews went through a period of time when its reputation was sullied by poor student performance, some reports of teacher indifference and a number of safety and disciplinary issues.
But obviously, times have changed at T. Wingate Andrews High.
“There’s just been an attitude shift that our teachers model for our students,” Wilds told the Enterprise. “That’s where our improvement comes from.”
While some may credit Wilds for improvements, he places it squarely on others: “It’s been a collaboration of our outstanding teachers, supportive parents and students who are willing and able to give 100 percent. ... We have teachers who are effective, passionate, who have the attitude that failure is not an option.”
Those teachers also will be beneficiaries of the Humphrey award. It carries with it a $10,000 grant that Wilds said will be spent on professional development of teachers in subject matter, motivational training for teachers and meeting some technology needs.
Good things are happening at Andrews High.