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BHS Students Have National Recognition

Ohanian Comment: It would be interesting to know something about the editorialist who penned this.

We might ask him what happens to all the freshmen.

Grade 9 - 1487 students
Grade 10 - 928 students
Grade 11 - 840 students
Grade 12 - 794 students

These figures make it look like a huge pushout occurs to achieve this model school status.

Anne Wheelock was talking about Brockton when interviewed in American School Board Journal, Dec. 2002. "Ninth grade becomes a kind of holding tank," says Anne Wheelock, a research associate for Boston College's Progress Through the Education Pipeline Project. Holding kids in 9th grade is the first step in pushing them out.

ONE of the favorite sports of Democrats, liberals and unions (often one and the same) is to ridicule President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program. But the remarkable achievements of students at Brockton High School show why the program is a resounding success.

Brockton High will be honored in June as a "model school" one of just 30 or so such schools in the country. This is the second year in a row Brockton High has won this designation. Presented by the International Center for Leadership in Education, it is awarded to schools that meet or exceed the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act. This is high praise for the teachers and administrators, parents and most of all the students who have worked hard for this recognition.

It is not easy being a high school student these days. Tests seem to come from every direction and students are told they are unfairly subjected to "high-stakes tests." But the student body in Brockton has passed with flying colors. It makes sense to set the bar high. Low standards translate into low levels of achievement. The students at Brockton High have show they can meet or exceed learning goals expected of them from the national, state and local levels.

Students and educators at Brockton High School could make excuses it is a huge urban school at which a third of students don't have English as a first language. But no one inside the school a key distinction makes such excuses; not Principal Susan Szachowicz, not Superintendent Basan Nembirkow, not the vast majority of students. The only carping comes from outsiders who look for excuses for failure which sets up students to fail.

But few students at Brockton High fail to make the grade. In December, Gov. Mitt Romney gave state-college scholarships to 199 Brockton High seniors who had MCAS scores in the top 25 percent of the district. MCAS is not just a "high-stakes test," it is a way of identifying the best students and finding weaknesses in school districts that can be addressed.

Without MCAS and without "No Child Left Behind," Brockton High would still have myriad academic achievements. But now everyone associated with the school can take a little breather and bask in the recognition that very few other schools in the country share.

— Editorial
The Enterprise


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