Holly Pond High School Counselor Karen Rowell

Holly Pond High School Counselor Karen Rowell speaks to a collection of students and parents at a seminar to provide more information about college financial planning. County schools earned high marks in several subcategories, including a 90.32 grade in college and career readiness — slightly higher than the city schools’ 89.13 grade in the same category.

This year’s state-conducted assessment of the performance of school systems throughout Alabama has yielded both Cullman City and County schools a perfect GPA. Both public school systems took home a letter grade of ‘A’ in the state Department of Education’s 2018-2019 Education Report Card.

Cullman City scored an overall 93 on a 100-point scale, acing (or nearly acing) the test by scoring high in a number of subcategories that, taken together, yield the system’s high rating. With a graduation rate of 93.04 percent, an academic achievement grade of 88.89, and a perfect 100 grade in “academic growth,” the city scored among the highest of the state’s public school systems.

The larger county school system wasn’t far behind, though. Weighing in overall at an even 90 on the 100-point scale, county schools earned high marks in several subcategories, including a 90.32 grade in college and career readiness — slightly higher than the city schools’ 89.13 grade in the same category. The county also did well in academic growth (grading at 99.67) and graduation rate (93.69 percent). The state scored the county’s academic achievement performance with a grade of 71.5.

The Department of Education releases report cards assigning letter grades to schools and school systems each year. On Friday, the department said the latest report cards are introducing graphics and features to make it easier to view data and compare school systems at a glance.

State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey said officials hope the grades can be used as a “catapult to jumpstart conversations about what is working in public schools as well as identifying areas that may need support and/or additional resources.”

The grades are based not just on the latest test scores, but on how much students improve in reading and math from one year to the next. Legislators in 2012 voted to require A-F grades for schools and school systems.

The school report cards can be viewed online at the state department website: www.alsde.edu/dept/erc/Pages/home.aspx.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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