Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Backward Policies in CCSD on K-8 Schools

How long will it take for the Charleston County School District to learn that middle schools are educational sinkholes? There was a time, maybe 50 years ago, that educational professionals (aka edublob) decided that removing grades 6-8 from elementary schools was a great idea. After all, preteens had problems to solve that younger (or older) students did not. Therefore, shoving all of those growing pains into one building sounded great. Fifty years later the Charleston County School District seems stuck in that failed pattern.

Those of us who have dealt with middle schools know that going old-school K-8 provides better educational outcomes. So it becomes easy to identify with Sanders-Clyde parents who resist sending their middle grades over to Simmons-Pinckney, even though it is a new school.

If learning in a stand-along middle school is so great, why aren't students at Buist also being yanked from their K-8 environment? Just think--Buist would then have space for more sections of lower grades! These moves to consolidate in a middle school are not about helping students; it's all about misplaced priorities that have brought about an $18 million shortfall. One misplaced priority was in creating a new middle school in District 20.

Having seen middle schools literally all over the country, I can state that I have never seen one that was not chock-a-block with problems. It's an easy prediction that, despite the best efforts of teachers and principals, Simmons-Pinckney will be no exception. 

For further reading on this issue, see the following article from the respected ASCD:

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