Are 'Successful' Districts Successful?
February 09, 2012
By Forest Thigpen
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When a school district is rated Successful by the state, you might be tempted to think itís doing well. But there are twelve districts in our state where at least half the schools are underperforming but the district is rated Successful. Even worse, in two districts, all the schools are rated below Successful, but the district itself is rated Successful. This happens because those districts took their schools from being really awful to being just pretty awful.
Itís a good thing to recognize progress, but we should not create the illusion that things are going well at a district with bad schools.
The whole rating system and the results it produces need to be audited. The Department of Education has neglected to do that for at least the past three years. Also, our schools and districts should be graded A through F rather than nebulous, misleading labels. Then parents should be given the ability to choose a better school or create a charter school themselves.
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