Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sham Scholarship Totals a Cautionary Tale

Congratulations are in order. Thanks to the Army's ROTC scholarship program, after graduating from Burke High School Sharnay Green will enter the Citadel with her college expenses fully paid. It's a wonderful accomplishment, but does it merit banner headlines above the fold of the P & C? [Half a Million in Scholarships] Of course not.

In their on-going PR campaigns, school districts all over the country participate in deceptive accounting practices. They lump financial aid and scholarships from all college financial aid packages into a meaningless total; then they multiply it by four (for four years of college) in order to impress numerically-challenged parents that their schools are doing a great job. If Green had applied to 16 ROTC programs instead of eight, her total would be even more impressive, but would it prove that she was a better candidate for college or that Burke High had better prepared her? Of course not. If she had applied to only two programs, you would be reading about another student!

The Charleston County School District's fooling around with numbers and the P & C's reaction should be a cautionary tale about numbers emanating from CCSD.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sharnay Green is a student worthy of praise. So is her ROTC instructor, John Dunmyer. I'll give the writer a little credit for at least asking about other scholarship winners, but she has dutifully carried this PR stunt to its cynical conclusion with a front page story.

Don't get me wrong, this Burke student and this Burke instructor are worthy of a feature article, but not to be used as cover for so many administrative failures committed by everyone from Charles Benton, Burke's principal, to Nancy McGinley, the superintendent, and dozens of other dishonest and incompetent meatheads in between.

BTW, didn't it seem odd the school district's office was unable (or unwilling) to supply information on any other multiple scholarship winning students? FYI, all ROTC scholarship winners are announced at the same time by the Department of Defense. I'm sure there are quite a few ROTC scholarship winners from Charleston who have applied to as many as 5 colleges or more.

This is a case of information manipulation. Too bad CCSD finds it so easy cover its own short comings and does it on the backs of hard working and dedicated people like Green and Dunmyer.

Congratulations to Ms. Green and Maj. Dunmyer.

Shame on the others within a corrupt system for trying to exploit their accomplishments for selfish reasons by those who don't deserve praise.