Fore!

No, this isn’t about Muni but as Golf metaphors are all the rage in the editorials, I thought I’d coopt the metaphor for something which you really should duck and cover.

I posted about coverage, or lack thereof,  of the GASD report scores. It’s apparently a news blackout as there is absolutely no coverage. WTF!

Instead we get the mutual praise of the superintendent from the board and vice-versa on their ‘successes’ with the magnet school programs. Yet when you look at the numbers for the magnet school ostensibly focused on ‘English Language Arts’ — the McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy — they tell a completely different story.

I’d expect with a magnet program focused on literacy that the test scores for that program would be significantly higher as that is the purported intent of a magnet program. Yet the students in fifth grade — likely enrolled in the magnet program since its inception — achieved a dismal performance with no student scoring at Level 4 on the ELA. Not one. That means students enrolled in the magnet program achieved no significant performance gain compared to other students in the district. If so, what exactly is the mission of the magnet program? It’s quite simple: it’s a way to draw magnet moneys from the state without having to provide accountability for the performance of the program.

You see it’s not about academic outcomes; it’s about financial outcomes. If you read any recent story on the GASD the theme and content always focuses on financial outcomes.

Shouldn’t this glaring inconsistency find a voice in the press with at least a question or even a passing comment that the scores point to some fundamental issues with academic performance? Shouldn’t the administration and board be questioned on what their strategy will be given the academic outcomes of the tests? And shouldn’t the broader community –especially parents– be a bit freaked out that we are deploying magnet programs across all the schools yet we do not see any academic improvement?

Of course not. Because magnet schools are great and we have great leadership in the GASD. Say it over and over as a mantra until you lose that overwhelming sense of outrage.

I think this situation can be best addressed with a quote from Gordon Ramsay, the mercurial chef on ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’: “We’re in the shit.”

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