BUT, it took federal pressure to make this happen
They are waking up in Iroquois High School in Louisville. This perennially low performing school is now calling out to the community for help. Iroquois also is finally recognizing that poverty cannot be used as an excuse if you want to improve performance of poor kids. You have to adopt a school culture that insists these kids can learn despite poverty, if they get the right help.
According to the Courier-Journal, only 38 percent of the school’s students are proficient in reading and a dismal 15 percent meet math standards. The dropout rate of 40 percent is terrible, and only 10 percent of those who do graduate are ready for college and careers.
So, the school is reaching out to the community for help and support, which is great.
What isn’t great is the fact that it took so long for educators in Louisville to wake up to the seriousness of the situation and admit that, despite the poverty challenge, these kids can learn.
Another thing that isn’t great is that it took the federally mandated Persistently-Low Performing School program, which some in Louisville still fuss about, to create this new awakening.
What may be the most disturbing of all, however, are comments made by Jefferson County Board of Education member Linda Duncan.
While I salute her for showing up at the school’s public outreach meeting, I am having problems with her excuses. She doesn’t like the accountability system that identified Iroquois, claiming the problems are caused elsewhere because the kids arrive at this high school unprepared.
That’s right. Those kids in Iroquois were failed long before high school.
BUT, Ms. Duncan, you are responsible for the elementary and middle schools that feed Iroquois. Are you taking action in those feeder schools to create an Iroquois-like wakeup call there, as well?
Maybe Ms. Duncan talked about that but the Courier just didn’t pick it up. I’d like to know, if Ms. Duncan or one of our readers can inform us.
You see, it’s obvious that the problems in Iroquois and a lot of other poor-performing high schools didn’t start there. And, trying to fix those problems just by concentrating on Iroquois isn’t very likely to provide a high-quality solution, either. Louisville has system problems, and it needs system leaders who can grasp and deal with that fact.