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When 'D' is for disadvantaged
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Recently, there have been a number of articles concerning how schools are assessed for success in Virginia. The public is given a glimpse of the future, when a new school division will be created for failing schools and schools will arrive in this special division via a more definitive grading scale. The government can then show accountability for expenditure and reform.
I work at Lincoln Terrace Elementary School, one of the schools with a poor preliminary grade, which was a D. The school was given the low score because it receives funding from entitlement programs, not because of below standard academic accreditation.
What kind of message does that send to a school division serving economically disadvantaged students? You are neglectful if you don’t take the funding, but you are penalized if you do.
Students are not robots, and it takes time for some weaknesses to be erased. Legislators need to realize that there are real little faces behind each piece of data they study.
Why can’t schools be scored for the love, nurturing and kindness in addition to academic rigor? Based on a lifetime of teaching, I know that Lincoln Terrace would get an A+.
KAY M. McGRATH
Writing consultant Lincoln Terrace Elementary School
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