Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Arkansas State University's Newspaper Weighs in on Jonesboro Magnet Schools

Arkansas State University's Herald newspaper weighed in on the the magnet schools in Jonesboro and published an article yesterday which reported on an interview with Assistant Superintendent Kim Willbanks and myself. Following are some excerpts from the article about my statements. Here is the link to the entire article if anyone wants to read it.

"Debbie Pelley, a retired Westside school teacher of 27 years, is an outspoken critic of the magnet schools. She does not agree with the Jonesboro School District's analysis."I do educational research," Pelley said. "I do a lot of studying of state test scores, and I pull out the fallacies."

"Pelley said her research shows magnet schools produce low test scores, high drop out rates, and that students coming from magnet schools are more likely to need remediation when they advance to high school. [I said college not high school] Pelley dismissed Willbanks's criticism, and called the magnet schools a "fad."…."It's a progressive idea," Pelley said.

"Pelley said her research revealed a myriad of other potential pitfalls with the magnet schools, such as busing problems that she said would lengthen the school day, enrollment problems because students apply to the magnet school of their choice rather than being assigned. Pelley said this led to children from more affluent families getting their first choice and children from less privileged families being forced into the poorer schools.

"Pelley questioned also the cost of implementing and running the magnet schools. She said that administrators from failed magnet schools in Arkansas and Tennessee told her federal grants were highly competitive and difficult to secure. Pelley questioned how the district intended to pay for the magnet schools.Pelley pointed to Hot Springs' magnet schools as an example, and said that the district's own reporting on test scores shows that their schools produce lower test scores and higher remediation rates than Jonesboro schools."

Here is a link to the research on the magnet schools and Hot Springs scores that show they have a 56% graduation rate and 67% college remediation rate.


Anonymous Arkansas State University Jonesboro said...

We have a few college students online from college of Arkansas-State-University-Jonesboro and we love your blog postings, so well add your rss or news feed for them, Thanks and please post us and leave a comment back and well link to you. Thanks Jen , Blog Manager Arkansas State University Jonesboro.

3:28 AM, November 24, 2009  

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