Friday, August 26, 2011

State Embargoes School Scores until 8/31

The Middletown Eye learned today that the State has embargoed the results of Middletown's CMT scores as compared against federal benchmarks until next Wednesday, August 31st. Rumor has it that two Middletown schools failed to met AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress, but when asked, Superintendent Michael Frechette stated he couldn't talk about anything because the State told him he couldn't discuss it. "It's not my rules, but I can't talk about it, " Frechette said in a phone interview.

Frechette also couldn't comment on which Middletown school would have to offer parents "free choice" of any school in the district as a result of schools failing to meet AYP.

It should be noted that all Middletown schools passed State benchmarks, but the Federal benchmark is calculated differently and includes different information than the State's. I've been told this calculation is incredibly complex and impossible to explain, and I haven't found anyone who actually knows anything about the process.

That said, there should be more information available next week.


johnpauljustlikethepope said...

God forbid a school should lose its monopoly on its attendance base. If parents could choose where to send there kids the lower performing schools might have to change to achieve more like the higher performing ones.

Anonymous said...

You know the redistricting did nothing for Middletown, but create more problems!

Did you know that Farm Hill and Bielefield ended up getting very needy populations, students with a lot of behavioral problems and not very supportive parents. Even the excellent teachers at Farm Hill had a hard time managing the very difficult behaviors. If the teachers have to spend so much time dealing with the behaviors how are they expected to teach! The administration just put band-aids on the problems or just ignored the problems.

Did you know that Bielefield and Farm Hill classes are so crowded this year that they are allowing students (at certain grade levels) to go to Wesley? Does that make sense?

Who is taking the responsibility for this huge disaster? Who is Mr. Frechette and the BOE accountable to?

Izzi Greenberg said...

As someone who works with and lives in a neighborhood full of the "needy populations" that you speak of, I can say with authority that redistricting has not created more problems for many of Middletown's children.

It is offensive that you can declare a whole population of families "behavior problems" that lack "supportive parents." If the district had done what the redistricting committee had mandated (and the board voted to implement), they would have given teachers and administrations of all schools training on how to work with a variety of families, including classroom management and cultural competency. That did not happen. Now, the kids and families must suffer your aggression, not the people who set up the problem?

There are schools across the state and our district that are NOT failing low income children. The district has to figure out how to close the achievement gap in a way that teaches low-income and minority students instead of trying to hide their failures.

Bielefield and Farm Hill are not offering choice because they are overcrowded, they are offering choice because those are the two schools that are "in need of improvement" and are mandated by state to offer choice to their parents.

Every citizen of Middletown should be outraged, not because your children have to learn alongside "needy" children, but because our district has failed to educate them for so long.

As a member of the redistricting committee, I have been requesting to reconvene for many months, to no avail. It was always the understanding of the committee that these changes would take a few years to work out the kinks, that adjustments would be necessary, and now, we're starting a new school year, having failed to meet and having failed to take a hard look at this past year's successes and failures and make the adjustments necessary.

Too bad it's too late to impact this year's enrollment.

Anonymous said...

Izzy, you are correct in your assessment, and because I fear retribution for using my name, I apologize for being anonymous. The "needy" group of students that this writer is referring to are the former DEAL students - a group of students in need of self-contained learning throughout the district that attended a program at Lawrence School that successfully handled their needs. These students range from Socially Emotionally Disturbed students to autistic students. They are special and wonderful and thrived in a self contained program where they received one-on-one attention with a five student to three staff ratio in each class. Our supposedly educated Special Education directors decided they would be better of at their district schools. They just transported these special classrooms to Farm Hill and Bielefield but didn't provide the extra support that made these students successful. They did this out of spite because the Lawrence School principal is excellent and Laurie Slade is jealous of her. These students are more isolated and are not mainstreamed with the general population. In fact, one of the DEAL teachers is going to Keigwin with her class and they will be isolated there as well.

They took a well run program that benefited these students socially and academically and broke it up to prove a point.

These students are unique and special. They are not just "needy" economically (because of of them are financially well off) but needed emotionally, socially and academically. But they are wonderful.

I think you just misunderstood the group that Anonymous was writing about....and justifiably defensive of your role in redistricting - which I appreciate. I'm sure you were not told that this program was being disbanded...and why.

Ed McKeon will be a breath of fresh air on the BOE because he will listen to your concerns AND TAKE ACTION.

Thank you Izzy for being so involved. I appreciate it and will contact you personally.