Today the SRC votes on its next budget and plans for future investment . One program the district should not waste any more taxpayer dollars on is the Turnaround Network. Schools should not be rated by letter or number. Schools are organic, and like children, do not all grow and achieve at the same rate. But when comparing schools, we have no choice at this time but to use the district’s own metric, its SPR. If the goal is to hand public schools over to charter companies so that they can improve, the numbers prove otherwise.
Below are some data comparing Wister Elementary to Mastery elementary and charter schools. According to the district’s School Performance Rating, Wister clearly outperforms Mastery schools. The data here look at the Overall rating and the rate of Progress. Wister has an Overall rating of 33% and shows 68% Progress.
Wister 33% Watch 68% Progress
Overall/Progress A is above Wister/B is below Wister
7 Elementary and 4 Middle = 11 total Mastery Schools
0 Mastery schools: ABOVE Wister in both categories
0 Mastery schools: ABOVE Wister in Progress
8 Mastery Schools: BELOW Wister in both categories (72%)
3 MasterySchools: ABOVE Wister in Overall category
3 Mastery schools: Show 0% Progress
5 Mastery schools: In Intervene category
Wister in Watch category; NO Mastery school above Watch category overall.
Shouldn’t the district turn over a Mastery school to Wister? Or at the very least have Wister teachers doing training at Mastery schools?
Odds are against Wister improving as a Mastery school—so what was the criteria besides emotions felt after talking to parents advocating a turnover to Mastery?
Also, Mr. Green has yet to explain in full the conversation he had with a PSP executive, 5 days before the January meeting, about having a resolution introduced during the SRC meeting without any public notice or comment. As I said last week, the people of this city deserve better than to be lied to and be the victims of secret back-door deals. We deserve better than to be subjected to the whims of an appointed body which holds itself unaccountable to the people and unhindered by the democratic process. We deserve what the people of every other district in the state has: an elected school board.
Lisa also asked the following question after her prepared remarks: “Where are the Evaluation Committee reports from Cooke, Huey and Wister?” When the three schools were targeted for placement in the Renaissance program, committees of parents were selected at each school, by district staff, to visit the charter schools which put in bids to take them over. These committees were to prepare reports based on the visits and on their reviews of the charter proposals and to make recommendations to the district. Dr. Hite made public statements months ago that Wister parents had given “high marks” to Mastery, but no one has ever seen the reports.
Dr. Hite and the SRC members were unable to answer Lisa’s question, and didn’t seem to know what she was talking about. Lisa asked Dr. Hite to send the reports when he was able to retrieve them, and he agreed to do so.