Last week Hope-Hill’s new principal, Ms. Maureen Wheeler, held a Partner Summit with representatives from UUCA and other partner organizations. She minced no words. Looking in the aggregate at the school’s standardized test for the last academic year in grades three through five,
- 23 percent failed reading,
- 28.6 percent failed English/language arts,
- 43.8 percent failed math,
- 49.1 percent failed social studies, and
- 50.3 percent failed math.
Some Hope-Hill students are doing well. But far too many are failing now—and academic failure now is only the precursor to a downward spiral later on in life.
And, as Ms. Wheeler pointed out, the problems that show up when standardized testing begins in grade three begin with a failure to master basic skills in the earlier grades.
Too many Hope-Hill students walk in the kindergarten door lacking the number sense and the vocabulary on which academic success is built. The problem is intractable. Declaring grandiose aspirations doesn’t solve the problem. Reasonable, measurable goals are needed. To that end, Ms. Wheeler announced these five goals for Hope-Hill Elementary School:
1. To increase reading achievement by 5-10 percent in grades three through five by
- vocabulary acquisition,
- literacy across the content,
- writing across the curriculum, and
- early literacy programs.
2. To increase math achievement in grades three through five by 5-10 percent.
3. To increase the amount of parent participation by 50 percent for education workshops focused on improving student achievement.
4. Implementing a Positive Behavior Intervention Program: “Eagle Expectations.”
5. Providing a welcoming, safe and supportive environment for all stakeholders.
We welcome and support these goals. Come by our table in the social hall on Sundays to find out more about how you can help.