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non-progress: New direction of school district examined
Column by the Editor
posted November 15, 2007
COLUMN – The Report Cards for our local
school were released today and our new Superintendent of Schools, Dr.
Mary Crenshaw, is ecstatic. “Once we have studied all the test data,
and review instructional programs, the instructional staff will
implement best practices to address the identified needs of our
children,” Dr. Crenshaw said in a prepared statement. You can read that
again if you need to. Crenshaw continues, “Yes, the bar is being raised
every year…but the track record of Edgefield educators proves that we
can meet if not exceed the bar.” Somebody needs to teach Dr. Crenshaw
how to read a report card and proper sentence structure.
Of the eight schools under the direct control of the Edgefield County
School District, only one scored “excellent”, the Strom Thurmond Career
Center. Four scored “unsatisfactory” or “below average” and only one,
Merriwether Elementary ranked “good”. The independent Fox Creek Charter
High School that is sucking money away from our county school system
also ranked “below average”.
So much for the good news.
The bad news is out of all nine schools only two showed an improvement
rating of average or excellent, Johnston Elementary and the STH Career
Excuse me if I do not share Dr. Crenshaw’s glowing assessment of the
situation regarding our schools. Given her propensity
to lower test
scores under her past administrations I would not expect her to be
to grasp the simple concept receiving higher marks as a way to show
advancement, not regression as a success.
However, to be fair, School Board member James Bibbs, along with
Chairwoman Sallie Cooks, Viola Jackson, and Mary Alice Jackson said
they wanted to change the direction our district was heading after
posting record high SAT scores and that, evidently, is why they hired
the low achievement queen Dr. Crenshaw.
At first I was angry, but then I began to try to put myself in a
non-thinking person’s head. Any thinking person would conclude that the
way to mark success is to improve scores and progress. That is what you
get for thinking.
What our illustrious leaders on our School Board must be thinking is,
if we are doing great but our improvement record is hard to meet - we
need to hire someone that will take us to new lows so that any
improvement over being a complete failure is good news. It’s the old,
“a dim light shines bright in a dark room,” theory.
Meanwhile our children suffer as the lowest common denominator becomes
the mean standard for all.
Welcome to the future of Education in Edgefield County. If you are
thinking of running off to sign up at Fox Creek, remember that they are
“below average” and have brought the entire county down in SAT scores.
That takes a lot of work with so few students attending the school.
On the bright side, we are producing a surplus of federal government
workers. Somehow that seems like an oxymoron.
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