Monday, June 25, 2012

Another So-Called "Turnaround" Flounders

Back in January 2011, during Obama's state of the union speech, he praised the amazing "turn-around" success of Bruce Randolph School in Denver, CO. 
Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college.
I criticized him then for buying into the reform movement's political hype of successful models based around anti-union, anti-teacher rhetoric and hubris about "high expectations" with no real discussion of addressing the real problems high-SES schools face. 

Surprise, surprise, a year later new test results find Bruce Randolph School floundering.  Each school in Colorado is given a yearly score measuring the percentage of students who are academically proficient.  According to the Colorado department of Education,
"the Achievement Indicator reflects how a school's students are doing at meeting the state's proficiency goal: the percentage of students proficient or advanced on Colorado's standardized assessments."
In 2010, Bruce Randolph had a proficiency score of 25%.  In 2011, the score was 25%.  What do you guess it will be for 2012?  Is this what a race to the top looks like?

This doesn't sound like reform to me.  It sounds like just the sort of low standards the reformers are always criticizing.

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