Did you know that African American 8th graders in Massachusetts outscored the Finns in math on last year’s TIMSS tests, the global education equivalent of March Madness? Or how about the fact that between 2003-2011, students in the Boston Public Schools made the the largest gains in math ever recorded in the 30 year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress? Or that high school graduation rates in Boston are at highest level in history? Or that college enrollment and completion numbers are way up too?
Yawn… Who cares. Now onto what really matters: our public schools suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck and they’re getting worse by the second. And by worse I mean hopelessly failing. As in “F minus,” “fall into the achievement gap,” “vote with your feet” bad.
Here’s what else you need to know: charter schools are excellent and also outstanding and are putting our failing union-stifled public schools to shame in almost every way. Did I say *almost* every way? I meant in absolutely every way. As one of the few remaining readers of the Boston Globe, I can tell you first hand that the charter schools so beloved by Scot Lehigh et al are achieving outstanding results with the exact same students being failed on a daily basis by our failing public schools. I for one cannot get enough stories of excellence and outstandingness amid an ocean of failed and failing failure. Shall we enjoy one together now?
Join me as we traverse the peak up high expectations mountain to Boston’s City on a Hill Charter Public School, recipient of more unmerited hype entirely well-deserved praise than perhaps any other school in Massachusetts. (We will save for a future post the question of how an entirely minority school in Roxbury ends up with an entirely white board of trustees…) Today we care only about excellence: City on a Hill’s unique approach to taking in a sizeable freshman class and running them through the gauntlet of excellence until a few emerge as college-bound seniors, poised for a future of 21st century prosperity.
- Number of ninth graders in the City on a Hill 2012 cohort: 130
- Number in that cohort who made it to 12th grade: 47
- Number of boys in the 12th grade class: 18
- Percentage of 2012 cohort who will graduate: 66%
- Number of students in the 2012 cohort who will graduate from college according to City on a Hill’s own predictions: 23.
- Number of boys who will graduate from college: 7*
And that’s not all. Due to the skyrocketing demand for excellence and the high number of parents who are “voting with their feet,” City on a Hill will soon be producing diamonds at two new high schools, including one in New Bedford, where school administrators estimate they’ll lose 65% of their students between 9th grade and 12th grade (see page 36.)
What’s truly miraculous is that these diamonds started out exactly like the students being failed by our failing union-stifled public schools. This is an essential point and however non-factual should be repeated at least once per news story (twice per editorial) comparing the excellence of schools like City on a Hill with the sad failure of the failing public schools. Note: there is no need to mention that more than 1/3 of students in the Boston Public Schools are still learning English, while future diamonds attending this academy of excellence, this one, this one, this one, this one or this one are almost 100% likely to speak English. This is called an extraneous detail and has no place in today’s feel good story of achievement gap closing and excellence or tomorrow’s feel bad story of public school failure, expectations lowering or feet voting.
Send comments, tips or reports of outstandingness to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*There is no data about what happens to graduates of charter high schools in Boston once they reach college. Charters were inexplicably left out of a recent Boston Foundation study of college enrollment and completion by city students. City on a Hill executive director Erica Brown claims publicly that 75% of the school’s graduates have completed college or are on track to do so. That’s the figure I used to predict the total number of college grads the class of 2012 will produce.