Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Meeting Street-Brentwood Latest Stats Unclear at Best


If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

That sums up the attitude of many towards the successes of Meeting Street Schools, a local organization that runs its own school on Meeting Street and for the past year ran the same program at Brentwood in CCSD. Now the district and its new superintendent hope to figure out how to replicate Meeting Street's successes in the Charleston County School District's other failing schools. They have already authorized the gradual takeover of Burns Elementary.

The latest news article on this phenomenon sheds little light on Meeting Street's successes at Brentwood. Perhaps the reporter is mathematically challenged or afraid to ask for clearer information. All we know about Brentwood's progress so far is that "This spring, with the school serving only pre-kindergarten through second grade students, 67 percent met their growth goals in reading and 73 percent met their growth goals in math." See meeting-street-schools-leaders-share-keys-to-success-in-high-poverty-schools .

"Growth goals"? So, how well did they do in comparison to past years? How well did they perform compared to the original Meeting Street School? Aren't these statistics important?

Those of us hoping that Meeting Street Schools has found a way to break the cycle of failing the poorest among us deserve better information. Does spending an additional $4000 per year on each student make the difference? If so, the District of Columbia's school system, with one of the highest per-student costs in the nation, should be an academic leader. It's far from that. 

While measures taken at Brentwood in terms of care, teachers, and discipline sound great, are they making a sustainable difference? 

Remember the fiasco at Sanders-Clyde? It was too good to be true.

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