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Old 05-28-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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This article from the Washington Post is both depressing and encouraging at the same time:

Top Prince George’s school limits students from outside its boundary

When reading the article, even just standardizing for the Quest program to encourage African Americans to participate in high-caliber STEM classes, only about one in ten students are getting in. You would think with these kinds of numbers (even if half of the student applicants were hopelessly unqualified) there should still be enough numbers to have at least two other "Eleanor Roosevelt" type programs.

This article certainly refutes the notion that blacks in PG County (both parents and students) don't care about education if ER's principal is turning away begging and crying parents who want their kids enrolled in the school. Superintendent Hite in the article claims that Eleanor Roosevelt High School cannot be duplicated. If the demand is so much greater for "Eleanor Roosevelt" High Schools in PG County, it would seem that outside of sheer reputation, the high school could be duplicated. What is PG County's School Board and Administration doing wrong to prevent the supply from meeting the demand?
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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There ARE two other Science and Tech programs in PG County besides Roosevelt.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: DMV
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Politics.

That's the problem. Certain schools within the county get more resources and that culture has gone on for years. You can just look at the schools in that part of the county as opposed to the schools in places like Landover or Capitol Heights and you will see a drastic difference. The school system has created a culture of the have and have nots, so to speak, within the system and people are clamoring for ERHS because there hasn't been a drastic push to improve other schools to compete at the same level. There is obviously something wrong. This has been going on since my brother was in school (almost 20 years ago) and you mean to tell me in that time, they haven't gotten another high school to reach that same level of achievement?
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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Thank you for the link but I am aware of these programs. The program at Flowers is mentioned in the article I initially posted. I think the question still remains (pgtitans has reiterated it above) as to why AT LEAST two more programs (and even moreso the overall high school climate) with the caliber of Eleanor Roosevelt cannot be established. C.H. Flowers is over a decade old, in Superintendent Hite's estimation how long does it take to establish a "tradition"?
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:23 AM
 
503 posts, read 653,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Thank you for the link but I am aware of these programs. The program at Flowers is mentioned in the article I initially posted. I think the question still remains (pgtitans has reiterated it above) as to why AT LEAST two more programs (and even moreso the overall high school climate) with the caliber of Eleanor Roosevelt cannot be established. C.H. Flowers is over a decade old, in Superintendent Hite's estimation how long does it take to establish a "tradition"?
Neither of the two existing programs are the same level as Roosevelt either. They have lower acceptance scores.

Perhaps it's the way that the other programs are administered. From what I understand S/T money is used in ways that benefit the entire student body at ER whereas the others tend to segregate the S/T program from the rest of the school.

The truth about the "school climate" being a problem is more of a reflection of the attitude of a vast majority of the county's residents. While there are certainly many, many people who do value education...and a rigorous one at that...the majority simply do not.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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I see the limiting of that program as part of an effort to push the newest high school-related initiative -- the "academy clusters" or whatever PGCPS is calling it. This initiative is supposed to result in similar quality programs in each of the high school clusters. Allowing out-of-boundary participants in the Roosvelt program doesn't jibe with this initiative's purpose. The problem with this plan is that people who want quality programs also want a program with a track record. Roosevelt has more of a track record than Oxon Hill and Flowers. Given that the latter two programs have been around for a while, Roosevelt will continue to have a better track record and reputation for whatever reason.

I agree that administration of the programs has an impact, and I agree that school climate makes a huge difference. However, I don't believe that the majority of residents don't value education. But those who act the fool in the classroom get more of the attention. Some troubled kids need some direction and other assistance. Others don't want to go anywhere, and they don't want others to go anywhere either. The issue is that the school system is tasked with educating all of them. Some schools, with the better reputations, can send the worst students elsewhere. Other schools, with less clout, have to put up with them.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
5,591 posts, read 6,374,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
I see the limiting of that program as part of an effort to push the newest high school-related initiative -- the "academy clusters" or whatever PGCPS is calling it. This initiative is supposed to result in similar quality programs in each of the high school clusters. Allowing out-of-boundary participants in the Roosvelt program doesn't jibe with this initiative's purpose. The problem with this plan is that people who want quality programs also want a program with a track record. Roosevelt has more of a track record than Oxon Hill and Flowers. Given that the latter two programs have been around for a while, Roosevelt will continue to have a better track record and reputation for whatever reason.

I agree that administration of the programs has an impact, and I agree that school climate makes a huge difference. However, I don't believe that the majority of residents don't value education. But those who act the fool in the classroom get more of the attention. Some troubled kids need some direction and other assistance. Others don't want to go anywhere, and they don't want others to go anywhere either. The issue is that the school system is tasked with educating all of them. Some schools, with the better reputations, can send the worst students elsewhere. Other schools, with less clout, have to put up with them.
Another reason that there are no other schools achieving like ERHS is that the school staff would have to be held to a higher standard just as the students would be. There may be push-back there. It takes a sea-change to transform the culture of a school. It can't happen overnight. And how do you siphon off the under-performing kids and parents who don't care? Where will they go? You can't just bus them to another school. As the quality of the teaching and the curriculum gets higher, invariably the slackers will fall further behind. Then that looks bad on the school. I supposed you can start the transformation in phases according to grade levels?
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: DMV
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This is why I stated before that I think the school system has got to tighten up on allowing people to transfer their kids to out of bounds schools. It is killing the system. As long as they allow this, then the best and brightest are always going to try their hand at getting to Roosevelt. The only way you prevent this is by putting the foot down and stop allowing this to happen. There are going to be some upset parents, but for the good of the overall school system, I think this is the only way work towards some balance.

I mean can you imagine if all the best and brightest student each and every year try to transfer to ERHS? What would that mean for the other schools? I remember when I was in middle school, one of my friend's parents moved from Fort Washington all the way up to that part of the county just so their child can go to ERHS. It is very serious for folks here and has been for years. The climate of the school system has stayed the same for far too long, they need to take drastic measures to reverse the trend.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
This is why I stated before that I think the school system has got to tighten up on allowing people to transfer their kids to out of bounds schools. It is killing the system. As long as they allow this, then the best and brightest are always going to try their hand at getting to Roosevelt. The only way you prevent this is by putting the foot down and stop allowing this to happen. There are going to be some upset parents, but for the good of the overall school system, I think this is the only way work towards some balance.
If that happens, the result will be a death knell to the school system anyway. Parents who aren't allowed to transfer will simply opt for private school or move out of the county. Or they will move to the parts of the county with the best schools. The "lesser" schools will still struggle. So the solution you suggest will never be good for the overall school system. What would be better is if great options were available in all areas, and parents could rely on more than just one great high school, could rely on more than a lottery, or the babysitting transfer, or a move to a very narrowly defined area with good schools.

(aside: the politicians and the big wigs always seem to end up on the right side of the "lottery." Really? And while we are on the subject of out-of-boundary transfers, did you know that teachers and administrators can place their kids in the public school of their choice, even out-of-boundary? That's what I was told by a reliable source. And folks are harrumphing about parents who use the babysitting transfer? Again, really?)

Let's be real. Good schools need good administrators, teachers and students. Forcing parents to send their children to only the boundary school is not going to automatically make that school good. Consider that the better or more experienced teachers will want to teach at the best schools. Consider that principals want to lead the best school they can. Consider that FARMs and special ed populations are seen as the great drag-down to MSA scores. There is a lot at stake. And a few transfers is definitely not what ails PGCPS.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Hyattsville, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
If that happens, the result will be a death knell to the school system anyway. Parents who aren't allowed to transfer will simply opt for private school or move out of the county. Or they will move to the parts of the county with the best schools. The "lesser" schools will still struggle. So the solution you suggest will never be good for the overall school system. What would be better is if great options were available in all areas, and parents could rely on more than just one great high school, could rely on more than a lottery, or the babysitting transfer, or a move to a very narrowly defined area with good schools.

(aside: the politicians and the big wigs always seem to end up on the right side of the "lottery." Really? And while we are on the subject of out-of-boundary transfers, did you know that teachers and administrators can place their kids in the public school of their choice, even out-of-boundary? That's what I was told by a reliable source. And folks are harrumphing about parents who use the babysitting transfer? Again, really?)

Let's be real. Good schools need good administrators, teachers and students. Forcing parents to send their children to only the boundary school is not going to automatically make that school good. Consider that the better or more experienced teachers will want to teach at the best schools. Consider that principals want to lead the best school they can. Consider that FARMs and special ed populations are seen as the great drag-down to MSA scores. There is a lot at stake. And a few transfers is definitely not what ails PGCPS.
This is indeed true... teachers with kids can allow their kids to go to out-of-boundary schools. At the high school I attended in PGCPS, one of my teachers children was allowed to enroll in my school, when they were in the boundary for a school in the extreme Southern part of the county. My high school was in the northern area. I wasn't mad, as my school wasn't exactly Roosevelt. It wasn't a bad school, but it wasn't necessarily ERHS or Bowie.

On another note... PGCPS politics is atrocious, from the top-down. I think that's very unique, as with other school districts with issues, often times you'll see the problems building from the lowest levels (parent, students, and even schools) and the administration (school board) is helpless. PGCPS is lead by a douchebag (Dr. Hite) who always tries to paint PGCPS in this amazing light, and never wants to accept there are extreme problems going on. I work closely with the school system at one of the high schools, have access to many teachers (many are former teachers and others are close friends that I actually went to school with, and they are now teachers in PGCPS) and if you all knew the bull**** that goes on in the county which is spearheaded by the school board, your jaws would slam into the ground like a ton of bricks. That's even with all that many of you all think you already know.

PGCPS has no intentions of recreating Roosevelt, even if they were granted billions of dollars. PGCPS is using the excuse that due to the budget, they can't accelerate the choice schools option. ERHS is the crown jewel of PGCPS, and even though there are many who try to refute ERHS getting an unfair advantage, it's quite true. Every time a new program or pilot program is slated for a high school in PGCPS, guess what school gets it?? Eleanor Roosevelt. Roosevelt now has the Science and Technology Center, QUEST program, Academy of Information Technology Program, Gilder-Lehrman American History Program, and that doesn't include that many other academy programs that ERHS has and was THE first in the county to have. And, starting this fall, Eleanor Roosevelt (alongside the #2 performing school in PGCPS — Bowie) will pilot yet ANOTHER brand new program, the Advanced Placement/Cambridge Capstone pilot program. Bowie and Eleanor Roosevelt are the only high schools in Maryland selected to participate in the pilot program. Anyone else shocked by this? A few years ago, PGCPS radically dismantled their magnet schools program. Up until around 2005/06, PGCPS had one of the most comprehensive magnet school programs in the nation. Dr. Andre Hornsby, former superintendent and now convicted felon, dismantled the magnet programs citing low performance in many programs. PGCPS didn't even attempt to tackle the low performing programs ... I guess that would have been too much work and time for their precious hands ... so they took the easier route and just eliminated programs. They even eliminated programs that were successful. They eliminated the Academic Center magnet program at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Beltsville. MLK was just about the highest performing middle school in the county, at the time. MLK Academic Center was basically the Eleanor Roosevelt of middle schools. MLK was also a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Parents cried out against the county eliminating the program, but they didn't budge. They claimed the program wasn't as successful at the other two middle schools that had it, so they decided to axe is completely. PGCPS used to have the Science, Mathematics, and Technology magnet program at the middle school level. The program was basically the elementary and middle school version of the Roosevelt program. Due to grossly under-qualified teachers being a part of the program (I was in the science and tech middle school magnet) and the resulting low student achievement, PGCPS axed that program, too.

In 2008, PGCPS sort of reversed course, and stated they would begin to EXPAND the magnet schools program, once again. They would replicate high performing magnet programs. They replicated the French Immersion, Montessori, and Creative & Performing Arts magnet program, at three dedicated K-8 centers (Robert Goddard, John Hanson, and Benjamin D. Foulois). Then, everything pretty much stalled. The prestigious Center for the Visual and Performing Arts magnet program at Suitland High School, was supposed to be replicated at the brand new Northwestern High School, back in 2004. Since then, the county has gone through FOUR different superintendents, and the VPA program expansion to Northwestern has been differed year after year after year. Sources inside have indicated Northwestern will in fact get the VPA program, but it will be another two or so years, basically TEN YEARS after the school was to gain the program. Northwestern's arts department is every bit as good as Suitland's, and in many ways it's superior. But, due to politics and crap, Northwestern has been neglected. Northwestern looses badly needed vocal, instrumental, and fine arts students each year to Suitland, simply because of the clout that Suitland has. Much like how other schools loose students to Roosevelt. And don't get me started on non-art students. Technically, the town of University Park is designated for Northwestern. Guess what schools most of those students attend...??? Roosevelt! They get special transfers and exceptions to go to Roosevelt, which does lower student achievement at Northwestern because a lot of the good students go to other schools that have more cachet. And this is just one school that I'm using as an example. The same thing happens at many other schools, just in the Northern half of the county. I haven't even delved into the central and southern part of the county, yet.

At the rate PGCPS is going, this new plan to create specialized programs at all high schools in the county—which will be located in clusters—will take more than a decade. I know that Oxon Hill, Potomac, and Crossland recently received new Academies and programs, but the other schools that should have received programs, are still awaiting them. I am so scared for the future of PGCPS. In the meantime, the school system is losing thousands of students each year, while other school systems are growing. If there isn't a problem with that picture—especially considering how the population in Prince George's County is actually growing—then you can commit me to a psychiatric hospital, now.

Last edited by Khemistry; 05-29-2012 at 05:56 PM..
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