Friday, December 12, 2008

The Old Shell Game in CCSD

When Toya Green opens her mouth, does Gregg Meyers's voice sound as loud to you as it does to me? That was my reaction to what the P & C on Friday called "Chairwoman details crisis" in its coverage of the second-round School Redesign meeting in North Charleston's Constituent District 4. [See School Officials Learn Lesson.]

CCSD has suggested so many changes and shifts in student bodies in this part of its redesign proposal that only one conclusion is possible: move those students around to the point that no one looking at test scores will be able to compare future results with present ones.

Isn't that what this is all about anyway?

Option 1:
  • School A, now 6-8, will become 7-8 for one year, then switch to 3-5;
  • School B, now 6-8, will close for one year, then open magnetized as 6-8;
  • School C, now 6-8, will become 7-8 for one year, then magnetize as 6-8;
  • School D, not on line, will become 6-7 for one year, then magnetize as 6-8;
  • School E, now 9-12, will stay 9-12 for one year, then magnetize as 6-8.
Ha! That's only the middle-school proposals.

As the article stated,
"The atmosphere was more subdued than in McClellanville on Wednesday night but the crowd ignited at the mention of Charlestowne Academy, the only area school that might be closed under the proposal. . . . The district's proposal calls for Charlestowne Academy, a K-12 magnet school, to close and for its building to be used by Clark Academy, a program for high school students at risk for dropping out."

District 4's per-pupil expenditures are lower than the district overall. No purpose exists for shutting down Charlestowne Academy, considering that it stands out as a school that actually is meeting goals--rated Excellent, etc. Sound familiar? It should. The same exists for shutting down Lincoln High School. Yet if the achievers now at CTA are dispersed among the rest of North Charleston's schools, their overall scores will rise. Of course, McGinley hasn't considered that angle. Right.

Let's also consider the angle that Communities in Schools, run by Mayor Riley's sister, which is heavily involved in the development of Clark Academy, would be delighted to get its hands on the building now being used for Charlestown Academy. Disperse those higher-achieving students AND please the Mayor--how could McGinley et al resist?

Then there's the asininity of shutting down Brentwood once again and calling it something else. A rose by any other name. . . .

"Some questioned the district's spending, such as its administrative costs, and whether that has led to the district's predicament." McGinley answered with "We've done everything we can without touching the schools. . . . The (state) cuts have been so severe that we don't have anywhere else to find the dollars."

Here's a thought: how about McGinley's returning her windfall extra $300 per month in-district travel allowance now that the price of gasoline has fallen.

What? She really needs $1100 per month? What's she driving?


Anonymous said...

Didn't Communities in Schools also just receive a nice little grant of some $200,000?
Is there any chance Ms. Riley's organization will actually assist our children with their homework or will they still just keep teaching them how to Step?

Anonymous said...

A downtown debutant from Murray Blvd teaching uptown kids how to Step! That's a hoot. Sort of like our Philadelphia Super sharing stories about the maids in her family with the grandparents of the CPA students. Do either of these women really know their audiences? This proves a local and an import can just as easily come across as a total ass if given enough time and license.