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Utah Names Highest Performing Title 1 Schools

Utah education officials unveiled a  list of the state’s highest performing Title 1 schools based on end of year exams. Schools in Utah classified as Title 1 often serve students facing poverty.

Ann White is the State Coordinator of Title 1 Improvement.  She says Title 1 schools have a number of unique challenges beyond having a large population of low-income students.

“Some of them come speaking other languages,” White says. “Some of them come with parents who work two and three jobs trying to keep food on the table. So the children come to school often not reading, not having the same kind of knowledge that other children would have.”

The top 15 percent of Utah’s Title 1 schools achieve success despite these challenges and some of them even surpass the growth and achievement of schools that do not receive the additional Title 1 federal funding. White says teachers use data as a tool to achieve that success.

“They know where their students are,” White says. “They know their students individually and they work in professional learning communities together, often discussing student work and student challenges and student growth and they  really focus their instructional practices based on what they know of these students and what these students need.”

White says at many of these higher performing, albeit low-income schools, teachers, administrators and members of the community organize into working groups where they use information like the day to day performance of individual students to inform instruction. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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