SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Superintendent Failed District Report Card
By Mike Harpold


May 24, 2007

After reading Brenda Loughman's letter, "Superintendent Failed District Report Card", I was concerned enough to check it out. I dug out the school district's Report Card to the Public for the school year 2005/06, an eighteen page document prepared by Superintendent Martin and his staff which was distributed to the public last August. It seemed to be comprehensive and included six pages of data listing the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results required under the No Child Left Behind Act broken down by school and nine different subgroups including economically disadvantaged, Alaska Native, Asian, Hispanic, Black and Multiethnic students as required.

The data for the Report Card was taken from a much larger document prepared by the district, the KGBSD 2005-2006 Student Assessment Data, a bound document containing hundreds of documents over an inch and a half thick. The complete document is available at the school district office, the Ketchikan Public Library, and every school including Ms. Loughman's school, the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences. Every school board member was given a copy.

This afternoon I went to the school district office and I was given a copy of the attachment to the letter received from the state department of education which was titled, District Report Card Review Checklist for 2005-2006 School Year. A similar checklist is sent to every school district every year and although I haven't seen it, I can believe that the cover letter says that failure to comply will result in loss of funding. It all looked pretty routine. The form listed eleven criteria; five of them, in our school district's case, warranted comments.

Most of the comments were technical and I'll try to be fair in summarizing them. AYP sheets were provided by school, not the combined district. AYP scores were not disaggregated by gender and did not show migrants. The percentage of students tested (or not tested) was reported by school and not combined for the district or for migrants or gender. No comparison was made with scores of other students statewide in some categories, although it was acknowledged that such data will not be available until August 2007.

There is no issue of failure to disclose here, all of the KGBSD's data is included in the Student Assessment Data book in one form or another. The problem appears to relate only to format. Yes, Mr. Martin as the man at the top at the time must provide complete reports in the format that NCLB requires. But getting gigged by a state official for a handful of correctable formatting errors in a report containing hundreds of elements hardly constitutes evidence that Mr. Martin, "... repeatedly provid(ed) the School Board and the public with misinformation, and ....his reports were often inaccurate." Nor does it justify the expense, disruption and turmoil school board members Eakes, Jackson, Lieben and Schafer have caused by firing Superintendent Martin.

Mike Harpold
Ketchikan, AK

Received May 24, 2007 - Published May 24, 2007

About: "Former school board member"


Related Viewpoint:

letter Superintendent Failed District Report Card By Brenda Loughman - Ketchikan, AK



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Ketchikan, Alaska