Stooping to misleading claims

By: - September 19, 2008 10:34 am

The folks at the Public School of Forum of North Carolina are pointedly calling out the Locke Foundation in the latest Friday Report for the recent study released by Lockers about the effectiveness of the dropout prevention grants awarded by the General Assembly last year.

The latest Locke lunacy was penned by Terry Stoops, the Foundation's education specialist, who says that 27 of 38 school districts that received dropout grants last year actually saw their high school graduation rates decline and that the results for individual schools that received grants were mixed.

Stoops thinks the dropout prevention grants have failed and no more should be awarded.  But as the Forum's Friday Report points out, the headlines and the conclusions of the Locke report are both misleading.

What the headlines fail to report is that the drop out grant awards were not granted until mid-January of last year and that most school systems receiving grants did not have their new programs up and running until March / April, giving them only three months of the 10 month school year to operate.

That, however, is also only part of the story. A number of the dropout grants went to support programs targeting students in elementary or middle school. One program in Moore County is focused on Latino preschoolers. The impact of these programs will not be measurable for years.

Good for the Public School  Forum, but none of this is suprising. The folks on right wing avenue are constantly twisting the facts in their crusade to dismantle public education, no matter how low they have to stoop.

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066