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Report: Greenbush-Middle River Low Achieving School

The Greenbush Middle River High School was listed as one of the lowest achieving schools in Minnesota this week. Having this title could mean that the school could get less state aid as well as having to reorganize. The school's principal says reorganization is to blame for the low scores.

The Greenbush-Middle River high school found out this week that it is one of the 34 lowest-achieving high schools in Minnesota. When the state applied for a federal grant, Greenbush-Middle River was on the bottom of the list to get funding because of low test results

Eldon Sparby/Greenbush Middle River Principal: "The numbers that come up on the state average includes 7th grade scores, 8th grade scores and high school scores. In our case we only got one score."

Sparby says the high school received such a low score because they don't have a 7th or 8th grade. Those grades are in Middle River. When Sparby tried to plead with the Minnesota Department of Education about the low score he was met with resistance.

Eldon Sparby/Greenbush Middle River Principal: "I approached the state and when I approached Pat King about this and the response was you configured your school we can't change that and you can change that so I guess your stuck with it."

The state sent in two auditors to asses the school on how it is run and the teaching style of its teachers.

Eldon Sparby/Greenbush Middle River Principal: "The final report was quite positive. They made the statements, 'We're not sure why we are here you have a very fine school,the lead assessor said to me. (they said) 'If I had a child I would have no concerns about sending him to school here.'"

In two weeks the school will hear an answer from the Minnesota Department of Education on the school's status. But he says the damage is already done.

Eldon Sparby/Greenbush Middle River Principal: "I don't think they understand the stress that it puts the community through, the staff through saying that you are the worst in the state when we felt all along that we have been doing a pretty good job of educating the kids in our district."

Sparby says the teachers have nothing to worry about because of this rating. But Sparby thinks he could lose his job over it.