BRIDGEPORT — In 2000, Beardsley School found itself on the state’s inaugural list of the state’s lowest performing school districts, (along with Columbus School and Madison School). It was also a charter member of schools deemed “In Need of Improvement” when No Child Left Behind came along a year later. A K-6 school, Beardsley has slowly improved. By 2010, half of 6th graders met the standard in math and reading on the state Connecticut Mastery test.
This spring, Beardsley was one of six schools nationwide to receive a National School Change Award from the U.S. Department of Education.
Principal Amy Marshall said this is the first school in Connecticut to earn the award, which has been around for 12 years. Other schools come from Alabama, New Jersey, Texas and South Carolina. Nominated schools measure themselves against 16 specific criteria and consider the degree to which they have improved, grown, and significantly changed.
“We are very proud to have earned this recognition on the national level. Of course it does mean that we had to go from the bottom of the barrel to make this change,” said Marshall. The recognition gives staff at the school access to the week-long National Principals Leadership Institute in July and will make the school part of ongoing research into efforts to improve struggling schools.