UD School District "Academic Realignment"- What you should know
The Upper Darby Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and instruction is upset with poor PSSA performance (a 10% drop) for a cohort of students [Note: The cohort group is the combined performance of all third graders in 2009 and all fifth graders in 2011 in the district, not a specific breakdown of performance of students by school.] And as a result has proposed eliminating the arts and phys ed as separate instruction periods, eliminating foreign language and technology education, increasing math and reading instruction time, and implementing character development courses across the district.
The Asst Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Daniel P. McGarry, seems to be poorly educated himself, as many well regarded studies show instruction in the arts and increased physical activity actually improve academic achievement. In addition, is it wise to remove foreign language instruction when the most recent census showed that Spanish will be a dominate language in the US by 2030?
To view the presentation, click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser.
The summary of the presentation, drafted by the District, is on the following web page: http://www.upperdarbysd.org/componen...nment-proposal
Surprise! This is what happens when you make all academic decisions based on test scores.
Have these folks never studied statistics? If your scores are already quite high (as UD's are) it is illogical to expect them to rise every year. There is always going to be some regression toward the mean.
Better questions: What is the college acceptance rate in UD? Even more telling, how do UD students do when they get to college? That tells more about their academic preparation than test scores. I've never seen statistics of that nature reported and it's something I've always wondered about.
They had their budgets slashed for the second consecutive year. They're a huge township that only really has money in the nice parts of Drexel Hill and is seeing people continue to move on up to nicer areas. The real issue is the fact that Upper Darby pays so much in taxes, much more than more wealthy places do, and gets back jacksh*t from the state and Corbett and his cronies. Upper Darby has been and could continue to be such a success story for the area given its diversity (and not just racial/ethnic/cultural diversity either) but not if Corbett and his cronies have anything to say about it.
We need more wealthy people moving to Drexel Hill and the other nice parts of the township and to attract companies to set up shop here and give our men and women jobs. Upper Darby is way too large to support itself the same way smaller communities do, through neighborhoods and income/real estate tax alone. They need to start thinking big. One thing that I think could also really help is to capitalize on the township's being a destination for immigrants by actively recruiting them to come here and having less BS scare tactics or crackdowns or enforcement of immigration laws than other places because in reality, immigrants and other good apples coming to the township from other areas are what's saving Upper Darby.
ANNIE, Didn't you hear that the bell curve has also been banned? Everyone now performs at an above average level. Infact there are no longer average people.
Once again, this is not some national bigger issue. Upper Darby had their budgets slashed again and are having major budget problems. Cuts had to be made, big cuts, because they, like every other non-ritzy school district in Delco and elsewhere, already cut out a ton last year. I applaud this person for trying to think outside the box about it, though personally I disagree with it.
Originally Posted by macdaire
Either way though, any outrage should be directed at Corbett and his cronies, not at the school district.
Also, you clearly don't know anything about Upper Darby if you think the kids get coddled and told how pwecious and special they are there. Most of them come from rough or hard-nosed neighborhoods and the ones that don't are exposed to every bit of Upper Darby when they get to high school at the latest. Nobody gets coddled.
I have a very clear understanding about Upper Darby demographics.
My comment was directed towards a decision being made based on test scores. These scores are frequently used by people to make decisions and they seem to have an extremeley limited understanding of basic statistics and how to use them.
Apologies for the late reply. This I agree with. Standardized tests are a joke. I learned more from unorthodox classes than I ever did from some stupid "teach to the test" crap.
Originally Posted by macdaire
My comment was directed at your "everyone performs at an above average level. in fact there are no longer average people" comment.
Either way, we need to keep these things in Upper Darby SD. They are the only thing that makes people see the district as being better than William Penn and SE Delco and Chester-Upland.
Upper Darby High School grad Tina Fey joins fight against U.D. plans for cuts in art, music
Hi Friends, The link below is a video about how they are cutting almost all arts and music from the elementary schools in my home town. (Educational Realignment should be the new euphemism for crapping in your own bed.)
Other than to showcase some amazing Philly accents, I’m sending this to you in the off chance you know someone who can bring attention to this story. It’s emblematic of garbage that’s going on in a lot of states. This budget goes to vote next week, May 30, so it’s not only disgraceful, it’s time sensitive.
Sign the online petition? Tweet about it? Do a long monologue about it on a national television show? Y’ll know I don’t usually forward stuff like this, so thanks. Tina
Petition: Save Upper Darby Arts (www.saveudarts.org)
Last edited by annie; 05-29-2012 at 02:07 PM.
^^^ That was pretty huge. Even stars like Tom Hanks got the word out.
The final budget vote is on June 26th. Everybody in Delco and Chester County and to the west and southwest of Upper Darby should be paying attention to what happens in Upper Darby. This is a major vote that could have potentially huge consequences.
The final vote is tonight. According to stories on both philly.com and delcotimes.com, the district is supposed to restore some of the positions it cut in the original budget. It's not nearly enough but it's a start.
Upper Darby's finances need to improve by next year though. That's what it's about, not test scores or any other national issue but the fact that Upper Darby is the size of many PA mid-sized cities and doesn't have the tax base it had even 20 years ago. That didn't work out well for those mid-sized cities either.
I can't stand the way they're talking in the article about "staying alive". They need to think bigger. They have some of the nicest areas in the whole metro in the western part of the township. We need to come together as a township and improve, not just try to "stay alive". Twenty years ago nobody in Drexel Hill was talking about "staying alive" as an area. Even ten years ago kids like me looked at Drexel Hill as a neighborhood much nicer than where we grew up and one where kids didn't really have our problems. There's no reason that should change in such a nice area with such amazing older houses in parts and some still great schools. We need to get more people with money moving to those neighborhoods and even to the nicer neighborhoods of the eastern part of the township that have the big, old houses. We need to advertise the fact that Drexel Park is within walking or biking or short driving distance of the Media to Center City Regional Rail line stop in Lansdowne/Clifton Heights, as well as how close places like Highland Park and Beverly Hills and other parts of UD with bigger houses are to the beginning of the El. At the same time, we need to keep the more working class neighborhoods with the smaller homes as a place for the immigrants and other people saving those neighborhoods and not let them be gentrified due to proximity to the El or to West Philly or any other crap because it will happen at the expense of the township as a whole. We have to make sure this "transition" of eliminating "specials" teachers never happens. It's the only thing keeping UD schools above William-Penn, Southeast Delco, and Chester-Upland. We need to get the state to start paying their fair share again, too because the taxes are way too damn high.
If anybody in the nicer parts of Delco thinks that if Upper Darby goes down their township or borough will be spared then that person is delusional. Sure places like Swarthmore with older architecture and a lot going for them should be able to weather the storm fine but Springfield, Marple, and any other newer suburban area? The "creep" as somebody once called it, will tear through those places like swiss cheese, like it's doing to my neighborhood. It's in everybody's best interest that Upper Darby stabilizes itself even more and improves in every part of the township.
Last edited by randomuser; 06-26-2012 at 06:10 AM.
I couldn't agree with you more. If UD does well, then it will help everyone around it. If UD goes downhill, then it will hurt everyone around it. Its fate will be both a cause and a harbinger of things to come for everyone in the wider area.
Originally Posted by randomuser
Yes, and all women are strong, and all men are good looking.
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