Taxpayer-funded “publicists” at the SC Department of Education like to use “awards” as a measure of public school “success.”
In the first four months of 2009, there were 20 press releases issued by the department that included the term “award” in the title or first sentence.
The problem is that many awards and accolades are not actually tied to student achievement, and some seem designed to distract from a school’s performance failures by improving parents’ perceptions of the school.
Here are two recent examples:
Allendale Elementary School
In March, Allendale Elementary School was awarded “a gold certificate and banner by USDA Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Administrator Donald E. Arnette for meeting USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge”
“The HealthierUS School Gold award is one of the highest honors a school nutrition program can achieve and reflects a strong commitment to provide students with additional healthy food options throughout the school campus, and to emphasize nutrition education and physical activity in the school curriculum.”
Allendale Elementary is classified by the State and Federal governments as a “persistently failing school” and has again been identified this school year as “at-risk.” There are 569 students forced to attend this failing public school. Continue reading
In the last year, public schools in South Carolina have endured $360 million in state budget cuts.
While many classroom teachers are fearing for their jobs, there are legions of consultants, bureaucrats and administrators who continue to cash-out from the $11,480 per child public school spending.
Just as the budget crisis worsens, parents are getting more bad news about public school performance. Unlike the budget crunch, which began in November of last year, low test scores, growing race- and wealth gaps, a 55% graduate rate and a surge in the number of failing public schools are a long term trend in South Carolina public schools.
In the latest round of bad news, parents were shocked to learn that according to a nationwide study, 11 of the country’s worst performing public schools are located in South Carolina. Of those 11 persistently failing schools, 4 are located in Charleston South Carolina.
Now it appears that principals at 2 of those schools will receive salary bonuses this year! Continue reading
Tagged Brentwood Middle School, Budget Cuts, Clyde-Sanders, Kala Goodwine, Lawanda Glears, Mishawnda Moore, Morningside Middle School, Nancy McGinley, News and Views, post and co, Post and Courier, worst schools
South Carolina families already worried by the discouraging results of the late 2008 School Report Cards may be even more troubled by the results of a recent study on the worst public schools in the U.S. According to this study, South Carolina public schools account for almost half of the nation’s “25 Worst Schools.” Increasingly worse reports about South Carolina’s public education system have been glossed over by indignant education bureaucrats who urge parents to “stay the course,” and stay focused on the state’s “high standards.”
While education officials frantically try to pass the blame, graduation rates have plummeted to horrific levels, SAT and ACT scores remain uncompetitive, and achievement gaps between black and white students have grown.
This latest addition to the long list of reports on South Carolina’s failure to provide a quality education for all students should be a warning to lawmakers and educators alike. While some schools in South Carolina are providing a high-quality education, many more fall far short of that, and hundreds of thousands of students are forced to attend them with little hope of anything better. Continue reading
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Brentwood Middle School, Charleston Development Academy, Choices School, Dorman High Freshman Campus, Educational Effectiveness, Equality of Opportunity, Kennedy/Lloyd Charter School, Lakeview Middle School, low performing schools, Midlands Math and Business Academy, Morningside Middle School, School Choice, South Carolina public schools, Student Scholarship Organizations, W.A. Perry Middle School, worst schools, Youthbuild Charleston Center: