Saturday, June 06, 2009

CCSD's Five Empty School Buildings: Secret Plans

With pieces like this one, why does CCSD Schools Superintendent Nancy McGinley pay Eliott Smalley? [5 Schools Close Permanently, Making Friday an Emotional Day for Many]

We can't accuse McGinley of FTPA ("failure to plan ahead"). She has plans for these buildings, all right--they're just a secret.

Can you say "developers"?


Anonymous said...

Here's one secret to her plan to close so many schools with more to come. In the short term she creates over crowded conditions so she can justify floating a massive bond issue to build new schools.

It's an old retail marketing trick. Play with perceptions from class sizes, finances and even test scores. Only this isn't about an over supply of suits in a department store.

McGinley is playing with the lives and futures of our kids, and possibly those of our entire community. First, mark 'em up, then you've got room to mark 'em down. It's not really a bargin. It just looks like we're getting a good deal. Truth be told, we're paying more than the original price. These school buildings, open or closed, are still on the books and have operating costs. If they are sold, possibly to friends of Bill, the costs will be even higher. She's not going to tell us about that.

McGinley is a real piece of work.

Anonymous said...

What about the schools she plans to close next year?

ladybug1 said...

I have to agree. Transparent CCSD is not. They have so many secret plans for our kids that it is very scary. I think more schools will be closed like North Charleston High.

Anonymous said...

North Charleston High has not been closed, it has been "re-constituted"...a supposedly new staff for next year. Of course, where they will realistically find that staff is beyond me. Who would want to work there considering the way they have been treated?

Anonymous said...

The people running the show have always been about just that, "The Show". They have always been in a world apart from the reality the rest of us live in. They still support mega schools even when experts in almost every field including sociologists, economists, urban planners and even educators say big schools and long commutes don't work in all but a few situations.

Still we hear from our consolidated school system's administrators that more schools will be closed in the near future. We should remember this when they ask us for more money, higher taxes and a half billion dollar bond issue next year to build new school buildings.

In just the last year and a half, this superintendent has said or implied we should close St. Johns, Lincoln and North Charleston High. Charleston Progressive, Frierson and James Simons have been threatened in a similar way. Those closures would be over and above the schools she stampeded the board into closing earlier this year. In every case the McGinley’s motivation has been to eliminate a failing school from her list. No closing has been paired with a concrete plan to raise the educational standards and performance of any of the students who attended the closed schools and are being reassigned to so-called non-failing schools.

It's a shell game. Only this "game" allows well paid public officials to use kids where they are most vulnerable to make the rest of us believe these people are earning their salaries.

Anonymous said...

So how many schools have been "reconstituted" in the last several years? With few exceptions these school reorganization plans have been little more than very expensive window dressing. You would think we would have something to show for it all with CCSD throwing as much PR attention and new tax money at this every time they "close" a failed program and bring on a "new" one. Should we list some of them? Let's start with the A-Plus program at Rivers and Brentwood Middle. After 4 years those "reconstituted" middle school programs now at Brentwood and Burke are still failing. On the high school level there were 6 principals in 7 years at Burke High, and how many at North Charleston? Don't forget the CEP student jail at Murray Hill that cost over $15 million before the private contract was canceled by CCSD. Then there was CCSD's suggestion to expand Charleston Progressive to include middle school grades, only to take it away 4 years later. All of this involved McGinley's incompetent leadership as either Chief Academic Officer or as Superintendent. Our schools are the same warehouses with management placing a new sign over them whenever the public discovers their contents are toxic.

Anonymous said...

Let me correct a misperception. Gregg Meyers has put forward what might be considered a good idea that has gone no where. He's done this several times over the years when he suggested the district do a better job of tracking individual student progress through the system.

That would be great and it would be necessary if we are ever going to see what all these silver bullets are doing for true graduation rates and PASS test scores. The truth is, it ain't gonna happen.

McGinley and others like her don't want the public to know what the costs to benefit ratios are. I'm betting they are very poor and she knows it.

Another truth about school reporting is generally unknown by the public. Principals and superintendents often stack the deck wherever possible by keeping some students out of the testing system. This excludes some students with the greatest academic needs from an already inaccurate reporting system geared almost totally to mass testing. Administrators will screen out test takers who could potentially make their numbers fall.

Forget all the hype about not teaching to the test or that test results are an indication of individual student progress at a given school. It's all about making the next tax hike or six figure administrator contract politically acceptable to the school board or to the voters.

In the end, they will always say, "But it's for the children." BS, it's about job security...theirs. They've left the children behind long ago.