Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Return on Investment Article and Dr. Shubel's Words

Sound bites, scatter charts and interactive tables tell us the story of whether we are getting a "bang for our buck" in this article.  This study, conducted by the nonpartisan Center for American Progress located in Washington DC, compared school district achievement levels and then compared amounts of money spent per child to get that achievement.  An accouning for poverty in school districts is allegedly made, but it is not clear what that is.

 My bottom line is that education is receiving a good dose of scrutiny by experts outside of the field and this should be a good thing.  Rigorous research should help to bring the variables that we are dealing with in providing a public education to our children into focus.  We need to be cautious, however, in being snapped back and forth by these studies. 

We need bold leadership to take these outside sources and synthesize them into a coherent gameplan on the local, state and national level.  Our bold leader, Dr. Shubel, fearlessly brought this article with her to Friday's PTA meeting at Lakeside Elementary.  She admitted that EGRPS was not at the top of the return on investment scale, but that we were at the top of academic achievement.  She then discussed an initiative to provide academic support to struggling high school students.  "When I reviewed the plan to implement the math lab in the high school to help students who are struggling, I stated that it would not be funded unless it was staffed by master teachers.  We aren't going to provide the support unless I know it will be of the highest quality."  This lab has boosted the grades of students who have struggles with one lesson and students who struggle with whole classes.  She went on to say that that academic support "costs money."  My personal opinion is that it is money well spent.

Lucy Lafleur