Where’s the accountability?

It’s been three years since the Deputy Superintendent of Operations for the Newton County School System in Covington, Georgia was named Superintendent of Hickman Mills. There is no question that he stepped into a district with some real problems which he promised to address. The questions now is, when is that going to be?

The latest test results show that Hickman Mills students scoring proficient (on grade level) or advanced were 38.3 % in English language arts, 25% in math, 28% in science and 52.1 % in social studies. That compares to statewide results respectively of 62.9%, 48.6%, 52.1%, and 63.3%.

Carpenter’s comment was, “We are pleased by the fact that our results signify an overall culture of continuous improvement (year over year)”. I guess if you have to put a positive spin on depressing news, that would be it.

Last year the blame fell on the student’s because they weren’t capable of taking the test on a computer. This year the blame falls on the State because, according to Carpenter, the assessment is “a state assessment system that has lacked much continuity”. It’s time the blame is put where it rightfully belongs and time this school board holds the Superintendent accountable for these disheartening and appalling scores.

Because Hickman Mils can’t score above provisional accreditation, it is pursuing an “alternative” accreditation. This is laughable. The only accreditation that counts, the only one anyone looks at, is the State accreditation. Shame on the Superintendent for chasing this sham and shame on the school board for agreeing.

It is little wonder that former board member Dan Osman packed up his little kids and moved out of this district. Sadly, it is also little wonder that the Superintendent thinks so little of our early childhood program, which was one of the best in the state before his arrival, that he would enroll his child in a private program.

This school district continues to fail the community. Anyone still believing Cerner employees will be moving here needs to forget that fantasy. The absolute heartbreaking truth, however, is that we are failing our kids. Those kids that were freshmen when this superintendent arrived are now seniors. After this year they will be sent out into the world with the education provided by this district no matter how fallible education may be.

It’s time this community woke up. If we have a superintendent who simply makes excuses and a school board that simply goes along, changes obviously need to be made and a good start would be next April’s school board election.