Submitted by John Arbeeny.
To quote President Harry S. Truman: “The buck stops here”. So it is with any elective office. It matters not what an elected official says they will do; it only matters what they achieve. This is not the “blame game” but rather the “accountability game”. You’re elected to the CPSD Board to achieve results, not just warm a chair. So just how well has the District performed under the tenure of current Board President (Marty Schafer) and Vice President (Alyssa Pearson)?
The following statistics are publicly available at the Office of Superintendent of Public Education: https://washingtonstatereportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/ReportCard/ViewSchoolOrDistrict/100047
Further data is contained on the Schooldigger web site: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/WA/district/01410/search.aspx
Here are the statistics for the period 2018-2019 (pre-covid):
- CPSD is 160 out of 247 districts… bottom 35%
- CPSD dropped 23 places from 137 to 160
Clover Park High School
- 347 out of 418 high schools… bottom 17%
- Dropped 69 places from 278 to 374
- Attendance: 61.2%
- ELA: 54.1%
- Math: 17.0%
- Science: 18.4%
- Graduation rate: 83% (Really with these scores?)
Lakes High School
- 233 out of 418 high schools… bottom 44%
- Dropped 55 places from 178 to 233
- Attendance: 98.8%
- ELA: 64.6%
- Math: 33.3%
- Science: 37.9%
- Graduation rate: 92%
By any measure or metric it is clear that Clover Park School District is not performing its mission to provide an academically challenging educational experience for all students which prepares them for adult life. In essence CPSD has become a diploma mill leaving students at its exit door without the skills necessary for adult life.
Who is responsible for this calamity? Teachers? Administrators? Superintendent? Although they may all play a role in this, the buck stops at the desk of the incumbent Board members: Marty Schafer and Alyssa Pearson. Their failure to provide needed relevant policy guidance and then demand accountability for its implementation has resulted in a District out of their control and sinking while they “rearrange the deck chairs” with irrelevant distractions involving critical race theory.
If you want to change the direction towards which CPSD is headed academically you’re going to have to change current leadership for new leadership focused on education and willing to accept that the “buck stops here”.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
The letter to the school board is spot on. The problems apply not just to Clover Park schools but, unfortunately to our entire country. Our K-12 and secondary education system has been in decline for over fifty years.
Our children and their parents are being cheated out of the education they should receive and instead are receiving indoctrination. Our students leave K-12 unprepared for advanced education. Our public and private colleges and universities have become an expensive con game. Families must spend or borrow from fifty thousand to over one hundred thousand dollars for a degree, if they graduate, that leaves them unqualified for job in their chosen field.
John Arbeeny says
Part of the problem is that elected school boards and employed leadership have shifted from educators to social justice warriors especially over the last 20+ years. These intellectual elite want every student to be able to go to college regardless of whether they should go to college after high school. In their minds “It’s only fair” as they despise the trades which many students should be preparing for. The results have been disastrous. Bored students, irrelevant curriculum, drop outs, dumbing down, unprepared for anything after graduating HS, unprepared for college rigor, more drop outs, unmanageable debt…..all the while “educator” salaries and benefits keep climbing while class size shrinks.
Who are the beneficiaries of this scam? The educators and their unions. In the examples of Clover Park and Lakes HS, the average size class is just 18 or less students! Think about that! It’s 40% less in size than 50 years ago when average class size was about 30 and yet academic achievement has fallen on its butt! Simple to understand. When you design a system to fail it will inevitably fail. So it is with our educational systems: they were designed to fail our students (not administrators or their union)…….it’s all they can do!
By any measure a 35% success rate in school performance rates a “solid” F! It would if you child came home with a test to graded. Time to start grading school boards the same way.
When you make &^%$ up and throw it at walls, you’re just making a &^%$show. Get your facts straight.
Andrew Kruse says
Never once in any of these articles posted in Suburban Times has there been any reflection or thought given to the role of parents in their student’s education. Or even the consideration of student’s own responsibility in their educational success. As a youth worker I have seen the variety of family environments, struggles and successes that contribute to the academic success or failure of the student. Unfortunately that won’t be something new school board members can change. It’s a part of a bigger issue to help students understand the value of the education they do have, how it applies in real life situations and helping them and their families overcome barriers. Some will never care and thus will have a hard road to succeed. Some are so busy surviving that it makes it difficult to give the proper attention to doing their best. A part of overcoming some of those barriers is taking personal responsibility, something that is not always given a lot of popular thought to.
Also, do any of these statistics mentioned take into consideration the high transience of the military population and homeless students who transfer midway through the school year? Plus you left out information about Harrison Prep, which I assume for all its clout does a good job of graduating its students. Just a few thoughts.