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Linglestown Gazette: CD schools succeeding despite failing test scores

Monday, August 20, 2012

CD schools succeeding despite failing test scores

At Monday’s board meeting, Central Dauphin Superintendent Carol Johnson got out in front of a story that likely will show up in the mainstream media sooner than later – the district failed to meet state and federal targets for students’ standardized test scores.

Johnson explained that the targets sharply increased this year, making it nearly impossible for many of the district’s school buildings to make the grade.

“The government changed the rules in the midst of the game,” Johnson said.

She pointed out the Linglestown Elementary, which had met standards with flying colors in the past, came up short because economic disadvantaged students as a group didn’t have high enough test scores.

“If you can call Linglestown Elementary a failing school, we will not meet your personal standards,” she said.

Johnson’s comments mirrored those made in an op-ed piece by another Harrisburg-area school superintendent that appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Patriot-News.

Board President Ford Thompson said the district is succeeding when 90 percent of CD grads and 78 percent of CD East grads are continuing their education.

Below are other noteworthy tidbits from Monday evening’s meeting:

* The district is in the third year of an energy-conservation program that has netted savings of $1.42 million dollars through July 2012 as compared to 2009 usage statistics. The program aims to reduce use of electricity, natural gas and water.

Eric Epstein, who is an energy consultant, commended district officials for dong a good job with the energy program.

* The board unanimously approved the employment agreement for Dr. Norman Miller, the district’s new assistant superintendent for academic operations. Miller’s salary was not disclosed.

* Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administration Karen McConnell reported that the district had just under $23 million in the bank at the end of July.

* The board adopted an Internet safety and cyber bullying plan for students as required by a federal program that provides up to $200,000 of discounts and reimbursements each year for the district’s technology expenses.

* A series of public-workshop meetings will be held the second meeting of each month starting Sept. 24 to discuss enrollment trends at the district’s 19 school buildings and the possible need to close some buildings. Meetings will be held 6:30–7:30 pm. The regular school board meeting will start at 7:30 pm.

* Board members Stephen Smith, Brian Faleshock and Chris Judd were absent.

CLICK HERE for an article published by The Patriot-News about the district's standardized test scores failing to meet government targets.



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