NORFOLK- Boosting the percentage of students meeting state testing standards is a top goal of Norfolk Superintendent Samuel King.

At his 'State of the Schools' address Friday, Dr. King laid out his five-year strategic plan to turn around low performing schools.

'It's a work in progress, not a panacea. It doesn't happen over night,' King said.

This year, 31 out of the city's 45 schools failed to earn full state accreditation, meaning 70 percent of schools are falling behind.

King's plan centers around high quality instruction, safe schools, a culture of excellence and having the community support local schools.

'We send individuals out into the community to engage parents, engage stakeholders whether it means the church, the recreational leagues,' King said.

In Norfolk, 71 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, and King noted these students score lower on state tests.

'Quite possibly some students were entering schools without resources ready to learn,' King said.

The superintendent started the job a year ago. He wants to turn ten low-performing schools into public charter schools.

The school board voted to support his plan, but the state application process to approve opening new schools could take another year.

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