A new progress report for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools that shows no academic impact for its Project LIFT schools that are on a year-round calendar. Bruns Academy and Walter G. Byers received an F-grade. Druid Hills Academy and Thomasboro Academy received a D-grade. All of the schools scored well below 50-percent proficiency for End of Grade reading and math tests. Channel 9 reached out to incoming Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox to see if he has seen the report. Channel 9 is waiting to get a response.I mean, was it too much to expect a little something for a project that's already chugged down $55 million? Taxpayers finally have an answer, in an op-ed entitled "Project LIFT’s results are better than you think" from today's Charlotte Observer:
It is true that we have not documented that the district’s Continuous Learning Calendars have resulted in improvements. But limits on what we can do with data prevent us from knowing why that’s the case. While it’s possible that they are ineffective, it’s equally possible that our research did not capture changes that have occurred. It’s also possible that it’s too early to tell.Of course. The auditors can only do so much with the data, so they're not qualified to evaluate the program. Now THAT inspires confidence in the system! Besides, you can't disprove that there MIGHT be positive changes from Project Lift, so the only possible conclusion is that it's a success. Yay! And there's more:
After four years, our research shows that LIFT is starting to get real results. Teachers and principals are reporting healthier school climates, and attendance is up in middle and high schools. We see promising evidence of increased academic achievement across most grade bands, and middle grade students are showing particularly impressive results. Finally, West Charlotte’s high school graduation rate is nearing 90 percent – and has nearly caught up with the rest of the CMS district.Yeah, take that, sceptics! Who could argue that the "healthier school climates" reported by school employees aren't real? Not me. And then there's the higher graduation rate compared to prior years -- never mind that starting in 2010, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools dropped the number of credits to graduate from 28 to 24. And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!