A day of lessons learned

Published 8:59 pm Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday was an interesting day in education, to say the least.

The opening of school was less than a week away, and last-minute plans are being made to ensure as seamless an opening as is possible.

Wednesday was also the day when officials from the three local school divisions learned that their schools did not measure up to state expectations in standardized testing and other measures. The districts did not make “Adequate Yearly Progress” standards as determined by a series of mandated objectives.

Statewide, officials in only a few divisions were pumping their collective chests with news of their results. More than half of the school districts failed to make the grade, as it were.

School board members in Franklin had an even more interesting day. On the same day they learned that the Franklin school system did not measure up to federal testing standards, they were briefed on methods of searching for a new school superintendent.

It was a session filled with optimism, of hope of finding, attracting and landing a good candidate for the school system’s top job. It was a session thinking of new beginnings, of great possibilities.

But nothing is as bleak or as bright as it seems on first blush.

The public will focus on the low test results in the school system, probably looking to assign blame and wondering where their tax dollars are spent.

Franklin school board members, and the public alike, will soon realize the limitations inherent to a city that is strapped with a budget crunch that might limit the field of solid candidates.

And, as the tangled web that are test results become more clear and days wear on, the public will probably realize their school systems aren’t has unproductive as headlines will make then out to be.

But the ebb and flow of education issues — even before classes opened, made for an interesting day.