Friday, April 22, 2016

CCSD's Great News: Magnets + Unintended Consequences

According to US News & World Report's latest rankings, the Charleston County School District's Academic Magnet ranks No. 3 among magnet schools in the nation, No. 8 in high schools overall. and No. 1 overall in the State of South Carolina. You can't hope for a much better showing than that. Not to be outdone, CCSD's School of the Arts also performed admirably, ranking No. 2 in South Carolina, and Wando came in at No. 6 in the state.  Kudos to all!

Yet, while we're focusing on great achievements, we also need to remember the costs: CCSD also has the greatest number of failing schools in the state. 

How can that be? Is there a connection?

Imagine a bottle of milk that has not been homogenized. The cream is at the top, ready to be skimmed off for all sorts of good cooking. What's left behind is skim milk. There are uses for skim milk, but it will never be as nourishing as regular milk. 

Guess what: that's exactly what's happened to the remaining high schools in the district. When Gregg Meyers decided that his children needed a better option to prepare them for college, he proposed the Academic Magnet. It's been everything he hoped for and more. Could any parent pass on his or her child's chance to attend this outstanding school? In like kind, the School of the Arts offers a way to those with other abilities to escape failing schools. 

Problem is, high-achievers' needs were met without consideration of the effect on the original high schools. In some ways, it's a Catch-22, damned if you do and damned if you don't. It's high time now for the CCSD School Board to figure out how to enrich the remaining schools with (to carry the analogy further) some cream.

The generally middle- and upper-class parents of high achieving students will have their needs met, or the School Board will get an earful. Even now, Buist parents are protesting a cut of an assistant principal during these lean times for the district. The parents of disadvantaged students are rarely as loud or effective as the foregoing. The School Board must make it a priority to look out for them too.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're thrilled the AP at Buist is getting cut. That makes perfect sense, right?

Clisby said...

I don't know that anyone's thrilled that school staff are being cut. But what's the situation at other schools?

For example, Sanders-Clyde is a K-8 school. Does it have an assistant principal? If it does, is that position being cut?

James Simons is (or soon will be) a K-8 school. Does it have an assistant principal? Same for Community Montessori.

I can see that a K-8 school (at least one the size of Buist) might need more administrative resources than a K-5 school, since you're combining an elementary school and a middle school. However, Buist is not the only school in the district like this, and it doesn't deserve any special consideration.

Anonymous said...

How about reserving CCSD student spots for actual CCSD taxpayers. Remind me why we allow Daniel Island residents to attend our highly coveted spots in CCSD? Some ancient rule, right?

Buist doesn't deserve special consideration. Neither does SOA or AMHS. What about Charter schools? Who pays for their APs? There are 86 schools in the CCSD. Buist parents aren't the only ones that are "protesting" for their school. If the board doesn't even understand the situation at the other schools (as detailed in Clisby's post), then maybe rash decisions about APs shouldn't be made just yet. This deficit took years to accumulate.

What an absolute mess. There should be criminal charges for this financial mess. (Maybe there are and I'm just not in the know).

Anonymous said...

At my school we are being told 27 kids in 2nd grade starting next year. I watched a trustees meeting that said 23. We are being told until we all get 28 no new teacher. WHAT!

1st will have 20 each and third 22 each. We should have third second but are told allocations said no. why?

Something is going on here. We are part of ELC; so why aren't the following board guidelines!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:16- Not sure I understand. You're upset bc the 2nd grade class size is increasing to 27? Isn't that happening everywhere bc of this mess?

Anonymous said...

no board said 23