Submitted by John Arbeeny.
In response to Superintendent Banner’s presentation before Lakewood United on 23 September 2021, I’d like to give a truer picture of the state of Clover Park School District.
Don’t blame COVID for “challenges” in academic performance. Every school district has had the same challenges so it’s a common factor not unique to Clover Park School District. Don’t expect the District’s “equity policy” to change its dismal academic performance in 3-5 years. Banner does not have definitive information on the academic impact of “equity, diversity, inclusion”. It’s all just part of critical race THEORY; not proven FACT. Indeed the District’s equity policy in earlier form has been around for a couple of decades since the “social justice” days with then Superintendent Dr. Doris Walker with the results we see today: academic failure.
As an aside, I have to wonder why neither Board President Schafer nor Vice President Pearson bothered to attend the Lakewood United meeting. Indeed I have to wonder why there weren’t the presenters of the state of Clover Park School District in 2021. They are the public’s elected representatives and owe that public the interface and accountability for the District’s current status. Superintendent Banner is an employee and answers to the Board while the Board is supposed to answer to the people who elected them.
So let’s take a look at the District’s academic performance through 2019 before the COVID pandemic. The following information is available at the OSPI Report Card website below:
- 50.6% of students are grade level for English Language Arts (ELA)
- 38.4% of students are grade level for Math
- 39.8% of students are grade level for Science
- 85.4% of students attend class regularly
- 88% of students graduate after 4 years
These State supplied statistics are shocking: what would you give as a grade to a test or term paper that warranted a 50.6% or 38.4% or 39.8%? Probably a well deserved “F”! Despite these grades and that only 85.4% of students regularly attend school, the District still manages to graduate” 88% of students after 4 years! This is astounding! Who is it exactly that the District is graduating. Answer: students ill prepared for adult life after high school.
If this wasn’t bad enough then take a look at the District’s performance overall as shown by the “schooldigger” webpage below:
The District stands at 160th out of 247th districts or 35.2 percentile in academic performance: very nearly the bottom third of all districts within the State. 64.8% of the districts are doing better than Clover Park School District.
The District has dropped from a “high” (if it can be called that) of 46.3% down to a low of 35.2%, a drop of 11.1% in just 4 years. This is not progress!
The District between 2018 and 2019 dropped 23 places from 137th to 160th. This is not progress.
Academic performance, or lack thereof, however doesn’t seem to bother either the Clover Park School Board or Superintendent as evidenced by the apparent lack of any real discussion or corrective actions proposed by the Superintendent or Board and passed by a formal vote. My research of 123 Board meeting minutes is detailed in the Suburban Times 12 September 2021 article “Letter: Clover Park School Board: Leading from behind with predictable results”.
What the Superintendent and Board have chosen to do instead is launch out on an ill defined “equity journey”, essentially “critical race theory lite” to nowhere academically. Rather they seek to create graduating classes of indoctrinated “social justice warriors” who will remain just as ill prepared for adult life after high school. Is that really the purpose of our schools and tax dollars that fund them? Should our children be the “guinea pigs” in this theoretical experiment?
That is the sad state of Clover Park School District in 2021 which will continue unless change comes to the Board and Superintendent. You have that chance to change that on 2 November 2021. Vote for David Anderson and Jeff Brown if you think things need to change. Doing the same thing over and over , now for over 20 years, and expecting change is the definition of insanity. Our students, parents and community deserve better. The choice is up to you.