Data on Martinsville schools

May 7, 2014

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer 

The percentages of black students receiving in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions in Martinsville City Public Schools exceeded the percentage of blacks enrolled in the school district in 2011-12. 

That’s according to data on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) website. This spring, OCR released the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years, according to a news release.

The national data reflect inequities for blacks and other minority students and those with disabilities, The Associated Press reported. The OCR release said those disparities ranged from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline. 

Of the 841 in-school suspensions in the Martinsville schools in 2011-12, 71.1 percent of the students were black; 19.4 percent were white; and 4.0 percent were Hispanics.

That compares with the school district’s overall enrollment of 33.4 percent white, 52.4 percent black and 7.0 percent Hispanic. 

Martinsville had a total district enrollment of 2,565 students.

Of the 449 out-of-school suspensions, 67.0 percent were black, 20.9 percent white and 6.0 percent Hispanic. 

The data also showed higher percentages of white students than black students in the gifted and talented program in 2011-12 compared with percentages of white and black students enrolled in the district.

Of the 368 students enrolled in the gifted and talented program, 58.2 percent were white; 29.6 percent were black; and 4.9 percent were Hispanic. 

As for student retention (holding a student back, or a student repeating a class), of about 25 students retained, all in grades 9-12, 80 percent were black and 20 percent were white.

Martinsville City Public Schools Superintendent Pam Heath said the only students MCPS retains are in high school, and it’s a matter of students having to repeat one or more classes. 

Other OCR statistics about the city schools follow:

• Of the 124 students enrolled in early childhood/preschool , 51.6 were black; 25.0 percent were white; and 10.5 percent were Hispanic. Limited English Proficient (LEP) students accounted for 0.27 percent of the preschool population compared with a total student LEP population of 5.81 percent in the district. 

• Among the 60 students enrolled in calculus, there was a lower percentage of blacks (26.7 percent) and a higher percentage of whites (56.7 percent) than their overall racial/ethnic populations in the school district.

• Among the 50 students enrolled in chemistry, there were higher percentages of blacks (68.0 percent) and Hispanics (8.0 percent) but a lower percentage of whites (20.0 percent) compared with their overall racial/ethnic populations in the district. 

• Among the 74 students enrolled in physics, there was a higher percentage of blacks (66.2 percent) but a lower percentage of whites (25.7 percent) compared with their overall populations in the school district. There were no Hispanics enrolled in physics that year.

• Of the 148 students who took the SAT or ACT college admission tests, 57.4 percent were blacks; 37.2 percent were whites; and 1.4 percent were Hispanics. 

Of the 148 students who took the SAT/ACT, 0.16 percent were LEP students and 2.7 percent were students with disabilities (compared with 13.84 percent students with disabilities enrolled in the district).

By gender, a greater percentage of girls (about 59.5 percent) took the SAT/ACT than boys (40.5 percent), though girls account for about 48.9 percent of the district’s overall enrollment and boys about 51.2 percent. 

• Of the 511 students who were taking at least one Advanced Placement course, 47.7 percent were white, 44.2 percent were black and 4.3 percent were Hispanic.

All 11 of the students who passed all AP tests were white. Of the 141 students passing no AP tests, 31.2 percent were white, 63.1 percent were black and 5.7 percent were Hispanic. Of the 49 students passing some AP tests, 83.7 percent were white and 16.3 percent were black. Some students took courses but no AP tests. 

• The average teacher salary was $42,911. Ninety-six percent full-time equivalent (FTE) classroom teachers met all state licensing and certification requirements; 8.6 percent FTE classroom teachers were in their first year of teaching and 4.0 percent were in the second year of teaching; and 18.0 percent FTE teachers were absent more than 10 days of the school year. There was an FTE of three counselors. The students-to-teacher ratio was 14:1. 


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