Head of the Class

Texas Monthly puts Lamar Elementary on list of  state’s best schools

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Nov 30, 2007 - Lamar Elementary School continues to set a high standard for children and education, not only in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County, but the entire state.

The neighborhood elementary school is listed as one of the top schools in the Lone Star State in the December issue of Texas Monthly magazine.

Lamar is one of “859 elementary, middle, and high schools that really make the grade” and put them on Texas Monthly’s “Best Public Schools" list.

Texas Monthly partnered with the National Center for Educational Accountability, formerly known as Just for the Kids, to publish the roster. It's the fourth time the magazine and NCEA have partnered to compile the list, and the third time Lamar has made the grade, according to Sulphur Springs Independent School District Director of Elementary Education Connie Mabe.

NCEA analyzed student test results for the past three years as the bbasis for this year’s ranking. Students at the elementary schools rated as "The Best Public Schools" performed better across all grades on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test than their counterparts at other schools around the state, according to information provided by Cathy Casey, senior editor of Texas Monthly.

According to Texas Monthly’s web site, NCEA’s College and Career Readiness benchmark was used as a measuring stick, and the top 5 percent of schools are automatically included. The rest are added because they perform better than predicted using statistical analyses.

Lamar was recognized for its high math scores, with 33.3333 percent considered to be high performing.

Earlier this year, the Texas Education Agency recognized Lamar Elementary as a "distinguished performance school," one of only 129 campuses in the state to receive the honor. It was the second consecutive year, and the ninth of the last 10 years, in which TEA recognized Lamar Elementary with the distinguished designation.

Lamar Elementary also shows up regularly on the TEA’s list of exemplary schools when annual accountability ratings are released.

Outside of Hopkins County, four other schools in the area made the list: Winnsboro High School and Lone Oak Elementary School, as well as two elementary schools in Greenville ISD,

More information is available over the Internet at www.texasmonthly.com/2007-12-01/feature6.php or on the NCEA website, http://just4kids.org/.

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