Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throw Money at This School, Quick

People who say you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it don't want to solve the problem.*

Low-performing schools perform poorly because their students are deeply impoverished.  All the testing, tutoring and discipline in the universe won't make them better students until we throw money at their families, in the form of high-paying jobs - yes, janitors and nurse aides should earn $25 an hour, of course they should - new homes, public transportation, etc.

The school in north Lexington is trying to transform student achievement with a concept called project-based learning. It is a system in which students learn classroom subjects by doing meaningful projects that relate to real situations in the community. The concept prepares students for college and careers, Kirchner said.

It is a three-to five-year process, "not a quick fix," she said.

First- and third-graders are trying the method first, and Kirchner hopes to implement it schoolwide by 2017.

The transformation is needed in part because Mary Todd is considered a low-performing school. It had a score of 52.9 out of 100 in Kentucky's testing and accountability program in 2013-14. Mary Todd is classified by the state as "needs improvement/progressing" as opposed to "proficient" or "distinguished."

It is also classified as a "focus" school, meaning it is underperforming in closing the achievement gap between poor, minority and disabled students and other students.
 *Although the trillions of dollars thrown into the black hole of a Pentagon that still can't figure out how to win the hearts and minds of people we are torturing and murdering certainly is strong evidence on their side.

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