Adair County’s agriculture community is taking a stand to support the future of the ag education program at the high school after speculation spread last week that one of three ag teaching positions is being eliminated.
The high school site-based decision-making council will evaluate the number of staff in the ag education program at the high school—deciding whether or not the department can be sustained with two instructors instead of the current three positions.
The situation arose after Terry Harvey, one of three ag teachers at the high school, announced his retirement last week. Harvey’s official retirement date is Aug. 31. However, substitute teachers are currently taking over Harvey’s classes.
After Harvey’s retirement, the third teaching position became vulnerable to elimination.
After questions were brought to the attention of Superintendent Alan Reed, he quickly announced that any decision regarding teaching positions at the high school is ultimately up to the SBDM council.
“The site-based decision-making council will decide whether three teachers are required in the vocational agriculture program, or whether two will work in order to add a foreign language instructor, fine arts teacher, or some other teaching position in the state assessed areas,” Reed stated in a press release Friday.
In an interview Monday, Reed said the council will take this opportunity to re-evaluate staffing in light of a recent drop in ACT scores at the high school.
“ACT scores did not grow,” Reed said. “They went down in critically assessed areas.”
ACHS students’ ACT scores dropped in every category with all-time lows since 2008. English scores dropped from 17.5 to 16; math scores dropped from 18.5 to 18.2; reading scores dropped from 18.9 to 17.4; science scores dropped from 18.7 to 18.
“Everything we are doing isn’t working or we wouldn’t have ACT scores that are going down,” Reed said.
Reed said the council is going to examine every possible opportunity….
To read more, get this week’s issue of the Adair County Community Voice. Papers are in news racks throughout the county this afternoon and in mailboxes Thursday.
By Allison Cross-Hollon