WHAT ARE HIGH FLYING SCHOOLS?
In late 2021, the Alabama Education Lab, a team of AL.com solution-based journalists who report on all things related to public education in Alabama, used state assessment data to identify a set of schools that are beating the odds. In a series of articles, they are highlighting Alabama’s High Flyer Schools, which are 43 schools that have high achievement despite facing a number of challenges, including high poverty level and low per student spending. Even with these challenges, students at these schools outperform the state in reading and math proficiency. Alabama High Flyer schools have at least 120% of the statewide proficiency rate on the 2021 Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program at their schools, even with high levels of poverty.
The goal of this series is to better understand and elevate the practices of these High Flyer Schools, which is critically important as district and school leaders look for ways to recover student learning from multiple interrupted school years of learning loss. Alabama Education Lab identified several common themes amongst the High Flyer Schools, including holding high expectations of students, using data to drive instruction, highlighting student academic success, supporting teachers and students, and engaging support from the community.