Monday, January 20, 2014

NC grading charter school applications on a curve

Basic grammar and punctuation skills might be requirements for students in North Carolina schools, but they aren't requirements for opening a charter school in the state--especially if you're the son of the NC Senate Majority Leader.

In nearby Rockingham County, Philip Berger Jr.'s Providence Charter School was just granted approval to begin taking public funds, despite an application that is riddled with errors.

The errors start on the second page, where the wrong date is used, but they continue.

For example, the application explains on page 9 that
...students who aspire to earn a college not receive adequate attention or a challenging and demanding curriculum because of mindset that they are performing 'adequately'...because these students are viewed self-sufficient, little is demanded of them. We strive for excellence." 
Well, selective excellence that doesn't rely on attention to detail.

On page 10, the application promises

PCHS students will become better writers. Communication of thoughts and ideas is critical to the success of an effective student and leader. PCHS curriculum will require, among other items, in-depth research papers which challenge the students' abilities to digest large quantities of information and condense it into a form that is understandable and can be communicated effectively
They won't become better writers if this paragraph is used in the classroom.

Page 10 further promises
Through this school culture of high expectations, we will watch student leaders develop and mature. Because a rising tide lifts all ships, this beneficial educational culture will create an environment underperforming students to take on new and exciting challenges.
An especially exciting challenge is trying to figure out where that last sentence was going.

Page 13 has another testament to excellence.
Students and faculty alike should demand educational excellence of themselves and others. PCHS graduates will stand out when compared to other high school students because o the curriculum and requirements students have mastered.
O really?

And so on for 53 pages.

Although it's a good thing for Mr. Berger that NC grades on charter applications on a generous curve, it's not such a good thing for the students of Rockingham County.