Monday, June 10, 2013

An item for the ‘interested student”……


“FIrst, we need to recapture our school boards”

That’s the intriguing “hook line” in an item just passed along to us by a loyal reader.  He sent this article, which is rather brief.  But the last line provides a link to a 23 page report; the hook line shows up on the cover:

A tempting passage (emphasis ours):

Cutting Through the Fog of Misleading Data

The greatest barrier to a factual understanding of local school performance is the widely held perception that all is well. Surveys have repeatedly shown that most people understand that there are problems with public education but they believe that their local school or district is the fortunate exception.

And another (again, emphasis ours):

School Boards: Agent or Double-Agent?

The heart of the challenge faced by schools is unfocused local leadership. School superintendents and supervisors have neglected the educational plight of economically disadvantaged children by failing to insist that teachers in the earliest grades adopt practices that are equal to the challenge—particularly in the area of reading instruction. Instead, they have accepted the excuse that poverty, dysfunctional families, community apathy, inadequate funding, and other factors outside of the school thwart effective teaching—all despite evidence that effective schooling can substantially mitigate these factors.

We haven’t yet read the entire report, but we have read the two Appendices from which these passages are lifted (pages 16-23).

All we can say is that the narratives there-in are a near perfect match to what we’ve observed in more than 15 years of Brunswick School Department ‘watching.’  Right down to the establishment of a School Board Political Action and Media Committee, as reported in this post over two years ago.

There’s even mention of “the Lake Woebegone effect,” in which the achievement score averages of every state were above the national average.  Which should be no surprise here in Cape Brunswick, where all the teachers and all the students are above average.

And while Brunswick Clueless United (or Community Unionists) isn’t mentioned by name, you’ll surely recognize them from their profile.

“Standing” or sitting, you’ll know who they are.

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