Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Burke High/Middle's Numbers Don't Add Up

Sunday's article on lack of integration in the Charleston County School District muddled the overall picture in several ways, not the least of which was its discussion of Burke High/Middle School. First of all, Burke has a long, proud history as an all black school which most natives of Charleston have been unwilling to change--just ask the NAACP. When the all-white High School of Charleston was closed, it was almost, if not certainly, inevitable that Burke would remain for all intents and purposes segregated. Of course, other principals' recommending difficult students into Burke that went on during the last 20 years (and may still be!) didn't help matters. 

What really bears analysis, however, are the puzzling numbers cited in the article. For example, the reporter states that 13,245 students ages 15 to 19 live downtown. Where? Is "downtown" the same as the zoning to attend Burke? What is the source of this number? If it comes from the Census Bureau that also means it includes 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in the College of Charleston as well as other high-school graduates.

Even if we cut the number in half, and claim that 6600 students are zoned for Burke, if 466 students is 45 percent of public school students zoned to attend, then the number still makes no sense. 

What the reporter inarticulately tried to state is that only 45 percent of students who are zoned for Burke and are enrolled in the Charleston County School District actually attend Burke. What the school board since its inception has accomplished through its own policies is for 55 percent of students from downtown to be bused elsewhere in the district. Now, the other statistic of which the reporter makes no mention is how many students are bused into Burke from other parts of the district. And don't tell me there aren't any.

In fact, wouldn't those numbers be interesting for all the schools in the district, but especially CCSD's high schools? Don't hold your breath.


Anonymous said...

Good post with valid points.

Anonymous said...

A former Asst Superintendent and others formally from Charleston County School District are under federal investigation in Jasper County

Anonymous said...

Since it is not possible(?) to post a new heading, I have to ask this question here...yet again. Why is it that the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science does not post its board meeting minutes for several months at a time? James Island Charter manages to post their minutes almost as soon as their meeting takes place. Unfortunately, CCSMS only has posted minutes from their NOVEMBER meeting...and those minutes were posted after a delay of several months as well. Why the constant delays? As a taxpayer, I am offended that those who so quickly remind us that charter schools "are public schools, too," are so reluctant at this school to make their meeting minutes public and timely. Now they have posted a "phantom" agenda for their next meeting, tomorrow, March 17.