Wednesday, October 08, 2014

CCSD Disconcerted by Its Own Policies Regarding School Transfers

I'm not sure anyone has counted how many programs Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley has instituted to entice students to attend school outside their attendance zones, but those programs are legion.

So it's all the more puzzling why CCSD administration last month claimed to be "disconcerted" over this trend. Maybe it thinks the "wrong" students are heeding the siren call of magnet and partial-magnet schools or petitioning for curriculum offered only at the other end of the county?

Actually, one reason for concern is that, while North Charleston's elementary and middle schools are full, numbers are exiting North Charleston for high school, perhaps to avoid ninth-grade classes where up to 40 percent are reading at the fourth-grade level or below. Another concern is falling enrollment at de-facto all-black Burke, the only high school on a majority-white peninsula. Could Burke's celebration of its all-black hsitory have anything to do with white flight?

Seriously, does anyone wonder why students who can choose to go elsewhere do so, even opting sometimes for "gasp" private schools?

Board Vice-Chairman Ducker worries that too much parental choice will send some schools "into a death spiral." Some parents, on the other hand, think a death spiral might be the solution for the ones with dismal records.

CCSD has decided to throw another edublob consultant at their perceived problem: for $16,500 he or she will "study school choice trends using a two-pronged approach--an online survey and focus groups." With all the fine administrators already on board at 75 Calhoun, you'd think this could be an in-house job. Apparently not.

Let's at least hope that McGinley resists tinkering with the focus groups.

No comments: