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State of the Schools Address (Revisited)

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John Beagle View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 31 2007 at 1:44pm

Video: State of the Schools Address
 
Source: School Website
last updated on Tuesday, September 25, 2007
 
The following report was delivered by Board of Education President John Venturella at the regular Board meeting on Monday, September 24, 2007.
Fellow Board Members, Middletown staff, parents, students, and community members, it is my pleasure to bring you the State of the Schools address this evening. Our community has been through some trying times over the past year and our schools are no different. The thought behind addressing the community tonight is to provide you with information regarding district demographics and achievement over the last five years as well as to address some of the concerns we as Board members are hearing from the community.
Let me begin by saying the board is responsible for providing the best educational opportunities possible for the youth of Middletown, while also being accountable to our residents. We set educational goals and establish policies for our district based upon state laws and community values, so a broad community perspective is important to our decision making.

One of our most important responsibilities is to hire and evaluate the performance of the district's superintendent and to hold him responsible for effectively leading our school district. We depend upon our superintendent to implement district policies and goals and to hold our staff and students to high expectations.

We also hire and evaluate the performance of the district's treasurer and hold him responsible to the highest levels of fiscal accountability.

While the decisions we make may not always be popular, they are always made with the best interest of the children and community in mind.

Now, let's take a look at some data and trends as they relate to our schools and community.

Since the 2002-03 school year, the student free and reduced lunch count has increased 74%. This economic indicator is directly related to increasing student need. These needs create barriers to learning and if unattended, may prevent students from achieving at high levels. Middletown staff has never allowed these barriers to become excuses for low student performance however. Their job has always been to find methods and strategies to remove these barriers to learning and maintain high expectations for all students. Our belief is that all students can achieve at high levels. Never the less, these barriers make it incredibly more difficult to raise overall student performance.

In addition, enrollment has declined by 12% since the 2001-02 school year. It is important to note the significance of this decline. Some of you may have heard Dr. Price make this analogy and it bears repeating. Imagine for a minute that the Middletown City School District is represented by 100 students. And of those 100 students, 50 of the students are proficient on the state report card and 50 are not proficient. That is to say that 50% of our students are meeting proficiency standards and 50% are not. Now imagine 15 students move out of our district and that all 15 students are proficient or meeting standards. This simple shift in demographics has now caused the percent of students attaining proficiency to drop to 41% and the percent of students not attaining proficiency to increase to 59%.

This is in essence what is happening in Middletown City Schools. The parents that have the means and are leaving also generally have students that are proficient on state standards (this was especially true when Monroe split from Middletown). For the parents that leave, the seemingly overnight increase in students not attaining proficiency becomes reinforcing data to support their belief that you can't get a good education in Middletown. In fact, they believe that they left just in time because scores just got wor

John Beagle
Middletown USA
News of, for and by the people of Middletown, Ohio.
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