Of course SCS does better on standardized tests, just look at the demographics. In fact, they should be doing even better considering the socioeconomic status of the district. I prefer the curriculum in MCS because it has more critical thinking components and expressive language skills. I did student teaching in an SCS school and there were lots of multiple choice tests and worksheets, but very few writing (not penmanship) opportunities. Asking first graders to write one sentence about that week's reading story and illustrate it was painful--they cried! I was in a good MCS school later (my kids also went there) and the writing is stressed much more. SCS scores about 30% higher than MCS in multiple choice measures, but only about 9% higher in the TCAP writing assessment. If the readiness issues in MCS (hunger, discipline, poverty, etc) were in SCS, it would be a different story. I like my kids' honors programs in MCS and that they got gifted services before the 4th grade (as in SCS).
As long as County residents feel entitled to City level services at rural level taxes, we will be hamstrung. My Urban Planning Profs in Grad School always said that services are best allotted by population density tempered by geographic realities without imaginary lines impeding their delivery. If you live out in the county, don't complain about how long it takes your ambulance to arrive. You should get what you pay for and the media needs to point that out, not pander to the woe is me attitude. Consolidate services that make sense and move on from there and quit whining about the lack of fire hydrants out in the rural areas!
By Leonard Gill
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