WCASD Spends $1 Million on Equity as Test Scores Plummet
We've already established that:
PSSA scores have been declining at an alarming rate;
Lunch and Learn is not meeting the goals that were established for the program;
and taxes are increasing as academic performance is declining.
Where do we go from here? How do we bring academic excellence back to our schools? Should we be seeing a return on investment for time and money spent? Where is our district spending money and how is that translating to academic performance?
The WCASD budget is massive and complicated--dissecting the budget is beyond the scope of this blog. However, there are some numbers we can look at that are relevant to this discussion. Our district has spent nearly $1 million dollars on equity* and yet test scores are worse than ever.
The focus of the WCASD has shifted away from academic performance and has shifted towards equity. However, equity is not based on merit. Equity is based on concepts, such as: inclusive curriculum, anti-racism, promote a positive school climate, and equitable access to district programming.
These are great ideas--who can argue with improved access to district programming, and promoting a positive school climate?
But how can we claim to be champions of equity when only 1 in 10 Historically Underperforming WCASD students are proficient in math? How can we expect kids to become functioning members of society if we're not equipping them to perform basic math? Isn't education supposed to be the key to a successful future?
Then why have we abandoned academic excellence in favor of equity? True equity would mean that we are equipping all kids to leave WCASD as seniors and to enter the world--either through work, college, or service--as productive members of society.
But how can we expect kids to achieve once they walk out our doors if they can't even perform basic math?
*This represents money paid to the Pacific Education Group. Additional money has been paid to other vendors for additional training programs and materials, as well as money spent to pay staff to champion the cause of equity within each school building and across the district as a whole.