"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lights Flickering at Edison Corporate Welfare Schools

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Whittle Solution is in trouble once more (so what's new), this time in Baltimore where his three corporate welfare schools are underperforming the public schools that they were intended to replace.

Not only are Whittle's chain gang schools underperforming the state and city averages, but Baltimore and the State have contributed in the meantime $5,600,000 in Edison retained profits from the failing venture. How long will taxpayers put up with with welfare artists like Whittle and Brennan and the politicians they own, who would wrest control of taxpayers' schools, turn teaching into a scripted non-thinking exercise, convert learning into an endless dead-end job of test preparation, and charge taxpayers a premium for failure to show results even close to the public schools? How long? Not long, I think:

A clip from the Sun piece:
At Montebello, fewer than half the fifth-graders passed their math test, compared with 71 percent last year, and only 54 percent passed reading. But third- and fourth-graders did far better, and Montebello is not considered in danger of being labeled a school that needs improvement.

Below city average
But scores at Furman L. Templeton and Gilmor fell below the citywide averages in nearly all grades in both math and reading. The two schools also ranked in the bottom 25 of the city's 114 elementary schools, according to an analysis by The Sun of the Maryland State Assessments.

In some cases, the drop in scores was quite marked: 62.7 percent of third-graders at Gilmor passed the math test in 2005, but only 41 percent passed this year. And the school's sixth-grade math scores dropped from 53.2 percent passing to 30 percent passing. State officials say Gilmor's scores are poor enough that it might not meet federal standards and will continue to be classified as a school that needs improvement.

At Furman L. Templeton, scores dropped in third, fourth and sixth grades in both reading and math.

In each grade, for both reading and math, the scores of the three schools averaged together were about 20 percentage points below the statewide averages.

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