Thursday, November 13, 2008

Metro student count goes up

By Jaime Sarrio • THE TENNESSEAN • November 13, 2008 Enrollment in Metro Schools climbed by 316 students this year, despite the district's unflattering "corrective action" status under the No Child Left Behind education law. Years of sub-par test scores by some groups of students led to a partial state takeover of Metro Schools in 2007, which included changes to budgets, principals and top leadership. The state's presence increased this year after another round of failing results. But that didn't deter newcomers from moving to the district. Enrollment grew from 74,733 students at the start of last school year to 75,049 this year, according to numbers released this week. The numbers were 300 students below projections, said Larry Collier, who works with the district's student assignment department. Projections for next year will begin in February. The slight growth was spread out across various parts of the district and could not be isolated to one or two areas, Collier said. Enrollment changes could not be tied to the district's testing woes. "I have no basis or data from which I can draw the conclusion that corrective action status has negatively affected our enrollment, he said. Racial demographics in the district changed only slightly in the past year. White students now make up 33 percent of the district's total population, down from 34 percent last year. Hispanic students filled in gap and now comprise 15 percent of enrollment, up 14 percent. Black students are still Metro's racial majority, accounting for 48 percent, no change from last year.

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