Climbing that Hill

Except for Franklin, which has a select population, AH Hill is the best of Richmond’s awful (and unaccredited) bunch of middle schools.

image

image

image

Even so, Hill was on track this year to be denied accreditation. 

It avoided denial in math because it made the 70% threshold, both in fact and, gratuitously, via the “adjusted” score.

[Oops!  The fellow who wrote the graph titles below was thinking monuments or something.  The school is “AH Hill.”]

image

But even with the “adjustments” that took the English accreditation score above both the reading and writing scores, Hill remained below the 75% English cutoff.

image

So Hill applied for and received “reconstituted” status.

“Reconstitution” requires meeting the following criteria:

image

It’s hard to see how those scales of “adjusted” pass rates (that Hill met), or even the hiring of a new principal, might meet the requirement of the regulation:

“Reconstitution” means a process that may be used to initiate a range of accountability actions to improve pupil performance, curriculum, and instruction to address deficiencies that caused a school to be rated Accreditation Denied that may include, but not be limited to, restructuring a school’s governance, instructional program, staff or student population.  (Emphasis supplied).

(Hint:  That counting of improved, but still failing, scores as “reconstitution” is a back door and broad brush implementation of part of the Board’s proposed accreditation regulation that is designed to make it nearly impossible to deny accreditation to any school.)

As well, these requirements have not been adopted as regulations so their use as decision criteria probably is unlawful.

In any case, this process provides a handy mechanism for a school that has failed to educate too many of its students for four consecutive years to avoid denial of accreditation for up to another three years.

(In passing, we might notice that denial of accreditation serves to embarrass the school and division but does not necessarily lead to improvement of the school.)

In the case of Hill, time will tell whether performance improves the little bit necessary to justify this “reconstitution” and help Richmond avoid unanimous denial of accreditation to its middle schools.  As it stands, Hill’s reconstitution and Elkhardt-Thompson’s new school status are the only barriers to that unanimity.

image