‘We’re going to change the culture here’

Eric Bidwell

Eric Bidwell

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 01:44 PM.

Franklin County School Principal Eric Bidwell pulled no punches in a detailed report to the school board last week as to why the district’s kindergarten through 12th grade school earned a D grade, and what the administration and faculty plan to do about it.

“I knew exactly what it was going to be,” Bidwell told school board members at their regular meeting Jan. 9, responding to some board members’ surprise the school‘s grade had fallen for the second year in a row after a B in 2010-11. “We should never be surprised by the school grade. We should know where a kid’s going to land within a few points.

“This is where we need it to be to start this new (process),” he said. “I don’t like being a D school. That school is going to be a B or an A school and it’s going to stay that way. If you don’t change the way we do it day to day, it’s going to take a little bit longer. And we’re going to change the culture here.”

Bidwell shared a six-page report with the school board that addressed the factors that led to the school tallying 915 points, 10 shy of a C.

“We’re not arguing with the score,” he said. “We want the public to know here we’re struggling.

“I want kids at the school to perform at the school the way they should be performing. I’m not trying to eke out a point here, a point there. What breaks my heart is the performance of our students.”

Bidwell told the board that assessment components, largely dependent on standardized testing, account for 80 percent of the school grade. All told, the district earned 504 out of a possible 900 assessment points.



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