NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A federal report card rating of an "F" with steady improvement is the reason the principal of Lambs Elementary got a visit Monday from Mick Zais, our State Superintendent of Education.
Together they combed through data to focus on the future of the North Charleston school.
"You get no credit as a principal for originality; you only get credit for results," said Zais.
Discussing what works and what doesn't Zais met for an hour with the new principal of Lambs Elementary.
Zais said, "I came to Lambs for two reasons. One, it's an "F" rated school and it's got a new principal."
Principal Jarmalar Logan talked about her strategies and her plan of honing in on math and science.
"Teachers know that when I come in the classroom I want to see what the math vocabulary is that they're working on," said Logan.
In the meeting Zais focused on the importance of holding teachers and administrators accountable for how well their students do in the classroom.
Zais said, "The difference between these districts is not the income level of the parents, the demographics of the students or the educational level within the home. It's what kind of leadership is going on in the school and how effective are those individual teachers."
Zais pointed out that funding isn't an issue at Lambs. The amount of money spent on each classroom is higher than the state average coming in at $13,400 per pupil.
More than 90% of the students at Lambs receive Medicaid and/or free or reduced lunch. Zais doesn't believe it's an issue, but says Lambs isn't like most schools.
"It also has an interesting dynamic that it has black, Hispanic and white mix of demographics that we don't see in a lot of schools," said Zais.
The school still has an "F" but the composite score factored into their 2013 federal report card increased by 19.7 points.
Zais left the meeting with high hopes.
"I'm concerned about any school where students are not maximizing their potential," Zais said, "I think I was encouraged by the fact that the principal knew exactly where her weaknesses were and how to plan for addressing those weaknesses."
There are five under achieving Charleston area schools on the state priority list this year. Burns and Sanders-Clyde Elementary, Burke Middle, North Charleston and Stall High Schools.