Here's an interesting stat from the blog entry:
While many folks don’t think about B.F. Day as a Wallingford school since it sits on the other side of Aurora, last year 23% of B.F. Day’s students were from Wallingford, and that number more than doubled to 48% this year due to the New Student Assignment Plan.
They also provide a link to an interesting study that I forgot about from 2000 of parent involvement at JSIS and its outcomes.
What is fascinating is how quickly the comments got vicious (and it points out a big issue of how parents feel about their school versus the data on its performance). One parent spoke of how he/she felt that B.F. Day gets a bad rap versus JSIS when it comes to reputation and she is, in fact, very happy there. She ends with this:
I would encourage any parent who’s worried about their kids having to attend BF Day to talk to the principal and faculty and tour the school. Also consider that parental involvement is easily the number one factor in your child’s education. As long as your child is safe, if your child has your active involvement and support they will do well wherever they go.
Pretty benign and encouraging, no?
Another parent lets readers know that there is a Facebook page dedicated to parents who are starting their B.F. Day experience (Future Parents of B.F. Day). This all sounds positive and that there are parents who are willing to work to better a school.
But then someone else feels JSIS is being attacked and unleashes this:
Chris said, “As long as your child is safe, if your child has your active involvement and support they will do well wherever they go.”
I think the point of the study was that the kids at BF Day are NOT doing well. I wouldn’t be so eager to believe all the “slogan engineering” from the principal of BF Day when the outcome screams FAILURE.
Do the kids at JS have parents wo are more committed to their success? Is that a crime now?
Maybe to level the playing field we should see to it that JS students are denied books and homework assignments; then their performance will come down to the level of BF Day and everyone can be happy.
“My kid can eat dinner from seventeen cultures!”
That’s great preparation for a career path of “would you like fries with that?”
Wow, that's pretty incredible. But it does point out how sensitive and on edge these reports make parents feel. That the above parent felt threatened enough by the "we're supporting B.F. Day" remarks to disparage those parents is quite telling. (And the irony is that he makes fun of the diversity at Day and yet JSIS is an international school.) He makes it sound like BF Day should be closed today.
Over at the West Seattle blog, they had a shorter write-up but more comments. A lot of them credited having Spectrum students at a school to raise scores and hoped that the new Spectrum program at Arbor Heights would help their scores. There was this comment as well:
The article is extremely misleading, in my opinion. The test scores at Lafayette and Schmitz Park are high because of the demographics of the kids attending the schools, not because the teaching is spectacular. The kids at these schools go in with an advantage; they have one or more parents nurturing their academic growth and aren’t struggling to subsist, for the most part.
One of our kids attends Lafayette and I have been underwhelmed by the teaching at the school, yet bc the test scores are high, the administration is unwilling to push the teachers to employ more progressive teaching styles. Our child consistently brings home worksheets with copyright dates from the 1970s.
Another commenter stated stats from the school climate surveys:
In particular, the responses to “safety” questions state that 70% of Lafayette kids report being bullied (14% higher than district average), 71% report feeling unsafe on campus, and 83% report feeling unsafe in the neighborhood. 66% of SP kids report being bullied, 67% feel unsafe on campus and 92% feel unsafe in the neighborhood. Contrast this with low test performing schools, which are all lower than the district average – West Seattle kids who report being bullied: 51%, Roxhill: 40%, Gatewood: 50%
Another reader said this:
While we can celebrate the successes of a small number of schools and put on “probation” others, it seems to me we instead need to come together as a community to support ALL schools — not only with dollars, but also time and energy. It’s time we think beyond just what is best for “my student” or “my school” but what is best for “our community”.
Are you hearing this kind of reaction in your region, in your neighborhood blogs?