Town Crier for April 2002
Reconstitution and Riverdale, Part 2
by David Hiles
Last month, I covered some of the questions raised by the Maryland Board of Education's addition of Riverdale Elementary to its list of reconstitution-eligible schools. Here is the next set of questions and answers.
Why did Riverdale get on the reconstitution list?
Elementary schools are judged based on attendance and MSPAP scores. Our attendance rate slipped to 93.8 percent. 94 percent is satisfactory and our MSPAP scores are low. Surprisingly, our MSPAP scores for third grade Title 1 students are HIGHER tha the Title 1 third grade scores for Montgomery County.
Scores reflect what has happened in the past, not what is currently going on. Our scores ar low not only because of our turbulent past, but also because more than 40 percent of our students are new each year. I think our scores greatly under-represent the education gained by students who come to Riverdale and stay here.
How will this affect our real estate values?
As you look around, you can see that Riverdale is a community on the move upward, whether it is in a better Kenilworth Avenue, a great train stop, excellent Metro service, a town center that will finally be rebuilt, or the Saturday music nights at the bookshop.
Riverdale's current real estat values, as well as values throughout PRince George's County, are held down because of the perceived quality of our school system. Since our system is improving and Riverdale Elementary is improving, Riverdale property is a great investment.
Reputation alwos trails behind performance. Reconstitution hurts our reputation, but as we continue to implement Success For All, continue to reduce overcrowding, and contniu developing na experience body of teachres, we will see improvement.
System-wide, there are reasons to expect improvement
How does the conflict between the Superintendent and the Board of Education affect Riverdale?
Hmm. Well, it doesn't make improvement easier...
David Hiles is this year's Riverdale Elementary School PTA President. He can be reached at 301-779-8620, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is his opinion. It does not express PTA or school policy.
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