Beginning of a trend?

This story suggested to me that it could be evidence of the Red Plan’s unintended but pernicious effect on our children’s education:

Duluth ninth-graders are on par with the state average when it comes to writing.

Results of a state writing test that ninth-graders must pass to graduate were released this week. About 89 percent of the Duluth school district’s ninth-graders passed the test.

The District would choose to emphasize that its results are on a par with State results. Reading a little furthur into the articles we find that last year our ninth graders were passing the reading and writing test 3 points higher at 92%.

Year by year changes of a few percentage points aren’t that big a deal. If our rate goes up a bit next year that will be the case. However, a one year three percent change should catch our attention much like the recently announced 4 inch increase in the water level of Lake Superior.

Last year we lost over a 1,000 students. Presumably they were among the students who had the most ambitious parents and were a cut above those who remained. That could account for the drop. The drop might also be accounted for in part by demoralized teachers with more children in their classrooms. Even with a new unknown Superintendent of Schools our teacher’s morale is unlikely to improve any time soon. Their classes are getting bigger and the state is delaying payments to schools and the Red Plan is going further into the Red.

It will be a year before we begin seeing any trend. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this was merely a one year blip.

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