Monday, October 31, 2005

Proficiency in School

Here's a story I'm drawn to for several reasons. First of all, it's about a public school in which the black third graders have scored better on state-wide assessment tests "than almost every other group of black third-graders in Maryland." Second, those same black students are scoring better than many of the white students in their school.

Tho the tests in Maryland and Maine are doubtless different in many respects, the thing that is truly noteworthy is that these students are doing so much better than the average white students in Maine, if "proficiency" is compared.

Of course, they became especially rigorous in getting their students to file for reduced-rate lunches, and in so doing receive more federal aid. The story doesn't say how much more, so it's hard to judge how much of a difference that made.

To my mind, the biggest part of the school's success is due to the great pains that the administrators took in vetting new hires. Imagine how far they'd go if they were able to actually fire some of the old-timers who look to their paychecks as entitlements.

Let's hope the schools in Maine -- and everywhere -- take note of this shining example. North Glen Elementary, hats off to you.