Each Arlington school should develop proposals for improving minority achievement that will generally stress working with parents, limiting class sizes for underachieving students and promoting self esteem, study and coping skills, school officials told the School Board last night.
In February the board approved spending $130,000 during the 1986-87 school year to boost minority achievement. Superintendent Arthur W. Gosling proposed that each school principal devise plans to meet that goal, then submit them to a committee of teachers and administrators for approval and funding. The board will vote on his proposal June 19.
Gosling said last night each school would be instructed "to try to devise some innovative and creative ways to make a difference" in minority achievement.
Standardized test scores for the 1984-85 school year, released last fall, showed the average scores of black students lagged behind those of whites by as much as 46 percentile points.
A committee that spent three months examining minority student achievement outlined other disparities between the performance of white and minority students in a February report. That report showed that dropout and retention rates were higher for minority students than for whites and that black students were suspended at a rate nearly three times that of whites.
Associate Superintendent J. Boyd Webb said in a report to the board last night that each school's plan should follow general guidelines outlined by the committee in February, including limiting class sizes to 15 for students severely deficient in communication skills and math, hiring more minority teachers, counselors and administrators and offering guidance to help stem dropouts, absenteeism and suspensions.