Friday, October 31, 2008

MiShawna Moore On NYT's Radar Screen

CCSD has made the big time! Thursday's New York Times ("All the news that fits, we print") rehashes the Sanders-Clyde scandal. [See School’s Success Gives Way to Doubt.]

The reporter confuses District 20's boundaries with those of the city and CCSD, since he says that "[t]he public schools here are 98 percent African-American, and nearly 20 percent of the city’s population was below the poverty level in the 2000 census." Well, both can't be true. The first is true for District 20 only (and that's not the whole city, as those of you living in West Ashley know well)--and probably is closer to 100 percent. The second statistic probably relates to Charleston County, but since it comes from the 2000 census, maybe it's the whole metropolitan area.

Also confused is his description of Sanders-Clyde's location: "The school, a two-story brick building framed by palmetto trees, has 326 students in a fraying district worlds away from tourist Charleston’s 18th-century brick-and-stucco splendor." A fraying district? Coming apart at the seams? Take a walk. Maybe the reporter doesn't know what "fraying" means or how it actually doesn't apply to any downtown neighborhoods in 2008. "Frayed," yes.

Notice that no one in CCSD claims credit for the next tidbit: "The principal’s renown was such that she had been given control of yet another struggling downtown Charleston school, in hopes that she could also turn it around." Passive voice is so handy when you don't want to say that Superintendent McGinley did it.

Not only that, but Janet Rose has her hindsight CYA glasses fully attached: "Many students made spectacular gains — leaps that in retrospect seem unlikely. 'You don’t go from nonreader to proficient reader over the course of a year,' said Janet Rose, a Charleston school official [responsible for oversight of testing and achievement, who didn't have the sense to compare other tests with the one under fire]." Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.

Is it possible that McGinley and company have learned some sense from this fiasco? If so, why does Janet Rose still have her job?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The State Dept of Education thinks it's wise to give these district officials notice that it suspects test tampering in district schools?!?? What if these people are part of the cover-up? Why would you want to tell them before there is an investigation? These are the very people who might need to be investigated.