Friday, December 21, 2007

Utah Closes Low Performing Public School

Real quick, check to see if Hell has frozen over!!! The state of Utah is closing the state's lowest performing school, a middle school that serves primarily students on a Ute reservation.
If the goal of No Child Left Behind is to shut down the worst schools in America, then the federal government has scored its first success in Utah.

After seven years of failing to meet testing and attendance requirements, seeing its student numbers plunge and its reputation decline, West Middle School in Fort Duchesne is shutting its doors. The school was technically the worst in the state. With fewer students came fewer teachers. No band to learn flute in. No wrestling team to join.

Forced by federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) rules to restructure West, the Uintah County School Board decided at the end of November to send the kids on a 20-mile bus ride into Vernal instead of shoring up a deteriorating institution. This is the first school in Utah whose struggles to meet NCLB led to its demise.

The roughly 120 students will leave a school almost entirely populated by members of the Northern Ute tribe to attend schools that are nearly exclusively white. This fact, tribal parents fear, along with a long bus trip is not the best decision for their children.
It's about time!!!!

I don't recall ever hearing about a public school being closed under NCLB standards (that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but I doubt that it has). Is this the first? If so, that is a long time to make the decision.

I can see the concern parents have about a 40 mile roundtrip bus trip as it is a long haul to make. But what I don't understand is why that trumps the fact that school simply was not doing it job, that is educating kids.

Hat Tip:Joanne Jacobs

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