Thursday, February 04, 2016

Can Meeting Street Academy Fix Charleston County's Failing Schools?

This 2015 chart is impressive. It shows how much students at three Meeting Street Academy Schools--one on Meeting Street, at Brentwood, and in Spartanburg--have exceeded expectations. Now hopes are that its program will be replicated at another problem school, Burns Elementary.  If these results continue, Academic Magnet may have found its feeder schools.

It's a private-public partnership that takes money from the Charleston County School District but also helps itself to private funds. Of course, more money helps to fund "two teachers per classroom, an extended school day and school year, and an in-house crew of therapists and social workers"--including a speech therapist and doctor of clinical psychology. 
Sarah Campbell

Principal Sarah Campbell comes to Brentwood a seasoned employee of KIPP schools, with an undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school (Brown) and an advanced degree in Business Administration. Let's face it--that's not the usual background for CCSD principals.

On the other hand, what happened to the previous teachers at Brentwood? Any still there? And what will happen to the present Burns Elementary teachers? Meeting Street makes its own curriculum decisions and can hire and fire teachers without the oversight of CCSD's superintendent. That power isn't necessarily bad, but you do have to wonder if more of the district's schools should be run this way, then the role of the school board is reduced. 

Superintendent Postlewait will be one of three on the executive board, which includes Campbell and bankroller Navarro. She's asking for an extra $5000 per student from the district for the start-up at Burns. That's clear enough, but what's not clear is the total expenditures per year per child including private money. Let's hope Navarro doesn't tire of doing good.

1 comment:

Clisby said...

One thing people shouldn't forget. The last time we had a miracle-working school, it was Sanders-Clyde.

CCSD would be well-advised to monitor this testing.