Pennlive covers a story entitled, “A new superintendent for Harrisburg schools? Possible search for new top educator sparks conflict on board” February 20, 2018. The story covers a dispute over having a look at Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney’s contract as required by the Harrisburg Schools Recovery Plan set up between the state Department of Education and the school district.
An interesting paragraph catches the attention of those truly interested in seeing real change in a district with a long, troubled performance history both in terms of educational and financial performance.
“At Harrisburg High School last year, for example, 8.1 percent of students scored as proficient in algebra, 12.6 percent in biology, and 16.7 percent in literature when state averages are 65.6 percent, 63.4 percent and 72.7, respectively.”
The writer notes the agreement plan ends, in theory, this June. The focus of the story mystifies anyone concerned for students attending the Harrisburg Public Scho0ls. Putting aside the financial issues what the statistics tell parents and taxpayers nearly every dime spent in the Harrisburg Public School District is a wasted dollar. Success for a student in Harrisburg comes not from a school delivering a quality education but, more likely, from a small percentage of talented students managing to achieve despite the obvious obstacle created by the district.
Pennlive quotes school board vice president Danielle Robinson saying,
We’ve come such a long way. We have momentum. We’re improving as a district,” Robinson said “This is what we’ve been fighting for.”
While including the numbers in the story Pennlive fails to challenge Robinson in a Youtube video interview. The Recovery Plan ends this June and the improvement achieved amounts to 8.1% of students proficient in Algebra? No push back from the reporter? Harrisburg parents and citizens deserve better coverage and real depth. Coming to the end of plan first written in 2013 better reporting and attention to the obvious abject failure to deliver to the students of Harrisburg deserves answers not trite reporting of a trite issue on the school board’s calendar.