NECAP scores paint grim picture at Tiverton High

To the editor,
In the February 7 Sakonnet Times, Tiverton Superintendent William Rearick perked up his peacock feathers by reporting that the Tiverton High School “emerged from its once-in-a-decade accreditation evaluation with commendations for 29 of its programs and services.” Whatever that means. Seems some academics interviewed and witnessed in the Tiverton High School programs were impressed with what they saw. The Tiverton School Committee was duly impressed. Applause, applause.
The real story is in the Newport Daily News article of February 13, not reported by Superintendent Rearick. The article reported that 32 percent of Tiverton High School juniors did not meet minimum math and/or reading proficiency on their fall 2012 NECAP tests. Do not believe me — go online to the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) website and see that the Tiverton 11th grade is failing by 32%.
As reported in the article, “Many of the students who are not at the partially proficient level are special education students, according to Superintendent of Tiverton schools William Rearick. He said it is ‘a challenge’ to move them up to a partially proficient level.” The NECAP Tiverton scores are decreasing. Tiverton is clearly in the red.
Wow, how did a third of the Tiverton junior class get to the 11th grade and not be able to meet minimum NECAP standards? Seems as if 32% of failing class is an anchor around the neck of the rest of the class, at least from an educational standard. I wonder if Mr. Rearick is a real educator?
Mr. Rearick and the rest of the Tiverton 1st-supported School Committee are to blame for this situation: Move ahead at all cost, don’t keep anyone back because it would look bad. Move them up to the next class and let the next person deal with them. Not to mention that Tiverton taxes have more than doubled (school-related taxes “for the children”) in the last nine years! Taxes increase and the school population decreases, along with their scores, but the educators and administration seem to get what they want – and it’s not “for the children.” Because if it was “for the children,” then we’d see higher NECAP scores and a higher number graduating.
Elections do have consequences.
Robert Hayden
Tiverton

28 Comments

  1. Gloria Crist said:

    Well, I was hoping with a few sitings of Robins and snowdrops emerging from the cold, hard ground, that Tiverton could inhale and exhale with the promise of spring. Sadly, it seems a few other things are emerging from the cold, hard ground, with the promise of nothing good at all. With the formation of Tiverton Cares and Tiverton Taxpayers Association, the left over TCC now have a two new venues to spew their disdain for our schools and mish-mash of half truths and flat out lies…and they say they care? Readers should note Mr. Hayden’s wife ran unsuccessfully for school committee under the TCC ticket. His lack of compassion for all “our children” and all levels of their learning show what the real problem is: residents like him-who cling to the TCC rules and guidelines for living in a community and goes to the real issue: He and other TCC left overs refuse to put Tiverton-first. I shutter to think where we would all be if the TCC had gotten their way in November. Many of us are doing our best to make Tiverton a better place-what are you doing Mr. Hayden?

  2. Sherry Blanchette Raposa said:

    Mr. Hayden,

    I really think you are criticizing the wrong people here. You should be going after the people at the state level. Let me start by making clear that I am so opposed to standardized testing in any form. What you may not realize is that there is one test for all. It does not matter if you are an honors level student, prep, general or special Ed. Everyone takes the same test. How can they, the state, expect someone who has never been exposed to certain material, to miraculously be able to perform such tasks on a test? That would be like asking a carpenter to perform brain surgery. I truly believe the state is setting kids up for failure at no fault of the students or the educators. People need to wake up and realize this is such an obsolete way of gauging a students performance as well as the educators that teach them. Voice your concerns to the state where something can actually be done. The school systems across RI have their hands tied and the students are the ones who will end up losing in the end.

  3. Renee Cwiek said:

    I can’t help but wonder if this was written because you actually care about our students, or if you harbor some kind of personal anger towards our School Committee and administration. For some odd reason, I’m leaning towards you have unresolved anger issues. Let’s address your “opinion”. You stated that 32% of Tiverton’s junior class is failing. As Mr. Rearick stated, many of those students are special education students. These are children that have special needs. You referred to them as “anchors” around the necks of the rest of their class. Does the group you belong to, Tiverton Cares, only care about the students that do not have special needs? I ask this question because I have also seen another Tiverton Cares member make a statement that some special needs children IEP’s are more like supplying medical procedures. I’m going to assume that neither yourself nor Mr. Katz have worked with special needs children and have no idea of what it entails or what their needs really are. I have a child that has an IEP. I can guarantee you there is nothing close to medical procedures in her IEP. Perhaps I should worry about her being an anchor around her graduating class’s test scores. Or maybe I should apologize to the town for bringing their numbers down. Instead, I will thank our teachers and administrators for recognizing that my child and other children with special needs are part of our community and should in no way be excluded. I will also thank them for working with our children to help us as parents improve their quality of life. As Mr. Rearick stated it is a challenge to move these children up to partially proficient. Many of these children are working very hard to overcome this challenge and other challenges that they face every day. While you are taking time to point fingers and find someone to blame, others are working hard to help all of the children in our community.

    • Justin Katz said:

      Renee,

      Why do you lie and distort what other people have said and written? Why do you make up facts you know nothing about? Why do you feel compelled to attack a CHARITY?

      This is what divides this town, and I’m very sorry that you’re so full of hatred that you’re letting yourself be talked into this activistic strategy of attack, attack, attack. You’re tarring good people who care about the community. You’re tarring anybody who dares to raise questions about the way things are done. That’s really not a healthy attitude for you to have.

      I wish I had the time to do more, but only in the sense of being friends with the fantastically good-hearted people behind it am I a “member” of Tiverton Cares. It is utterly disgusting for you to try to destroy what they’re trying to do before it’s even started. Shame on you. Really, that’s not political rhetoric. Shame on you.

      As for the “medical procedures” comment, you’re deliberately distorting what I wrote (here, if anybody cares to read for themselves). There are in fact students whose school days are more like specialized therapies than school work. I know several of them and thank God for their parents’ courage.

      Again, it’s disgusting that you would try to take what I presented as a range… from the top of the top of the student body to the most challenged students… and drag me by name into another of your exercises in hatred.

      Why are you so full of hate? Why are you so intent on tearing Tiverton apart?

        • Justin Katz said:

          Tiverton Cares is an actual charity started by people who wanted to be active with their friends in a form of community involvement separate from politics.

          You can hate me and lie about me if you want; if that’s the price of my standing up for principle, so be it. But it’s very disturbing that you and Tiverton1st seem to have targeted a charity for destruction.

          Keep responding to me according to your political script online, if you have to, but offline, please take a moment for a clear-eyed look at the evidence on Tiverton Cares.

          As I said, I think you’re letting the politics push you toward some unhealthy behavior.

          • Gloria Crist said:

            “I think you are letting your politics push you towards some unhealthy behavior.” Thou doth protest. As much as you would like to believe you are the worlds leading authority on everything-the very nature of your behavior in the name of your political views is wasting our taxpayer dollars. Again. This should be alarming to everyone who cares about Tiverton.

          • Renee Cwiek said:

            Justin, I find it odd that you only seem to respond to me. My responses and opinions are my own and have nothing to do with Tiverton 1st. I’ve been following you for a very long time and they come from being a parent and having children in our school system. I’ve said it before, if you’re going to blog and put your opinions out there, be prepared for people not to agree with you. I don’t hate you. I’ve never even met you, and I haven’t lied about anything. We simply don’t agree.

      • Gloria Crist said:

        Justin- you are the new Joe Sousa of commenting. You run your mouth and expect taxpayers to foot the bill for your paranoia and need to be heard-need to be noticed. You talk out of both sides of your mouth and then cry and complain about why “no one likes me in Tiverton”. You rant about anger-yet you are the one stirring the pot. I would think your friends on the Tiverton Taxpayer Association would be livid you are wasting their money on frivolous and petty complaints-THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN RESOLVED. I could give two shakes that you are a member of Tiverton Cares or run to their defense-but as taxpayers-they too should be concerned you are wasting their money-YOU.

  4. Gloria Crist said:

    Mr. Hayden-
    Perhaps you should be more concerned-as a taxpayer-that Justin Katz is wasting more of your money on legal fees and petty complaints.YOU are footing the bill for his running of the mouth-and that does not bother you??? I find it so ironic those of you who rant and rave about taxes refuse to look at how “one of yours” is wasting your money….or how more fellow former TCC and current Tiverton Taxpayer Association members wasted taxpayer money-to the tune of THOUSANDS-by refusing to give back the $600,000 that was taken from the schools. The hypocrisy reeks.

  5. Mike Silvia said:

    Making it personal in the very first sentence (peacock feathers) already had me questioning the credibility of your letter before even reading it. My suspicions were confirmed when you chose to focus on only one data element — Math scores for 11th grade students. Performance is a valid concern in this area, but the surface always requires scratching.

    First of all, a school system is a reflection of the community. The higher the income and educational attainment, the fewer the challenges. Based on the demographics and expenditures, Tiverton’s teachers and administrators do not appear to be the issue.

    You fail to mention the solid performance in reading with 85% proficient (45% with distinction) for 11th graders.

    You also fail to mention how well the Tiverton school system does with its “anchor,” the students most at risk (low-income students and those with an IEP). Tiverton actually out-performs Portsmouth and Middletown in Math for both groups, and falls only 2-points shy of Portsmouth’s performance in reading proficiency for students with an IEP. Tiverton performs better than most with at-risk populations. I certainly feel better about a town that provides a good education to ALL students.

    Finally, you do not mention THS principal Fezette’s plan to address the issue, which provides extensive tutoring and a new math class without hiring a new teacher. As someone who is concerned about taxes and spending too, I commend this approach.

  6. tubby barton said:

    Just another attempted hatchet job by Robbie, Justin and company. Noted by their simplistic thought process (schools=bad, TCC=good), they offer very little to think about and of course, nothing in the way of suggestions for improvement. Is it any wonder that they got their clocks cleaned in November. Mr. Hayden-Anderson appears to be just another bitter TCC/Tiverton Taxpayers Association loser. But remember, as Justin says they are “fantastically good-hearted people”.

  7. Diane said:

    The sad part about all of this is that regardless of the rebukes and clarifications, the author’s original, slanderous attack letter will be published in the print version of the Sakonnet Times. Just look at the headline. It makes THS sound like a school on the cusp of implosion. While I agree with freedom of speech, do the editors not enjoy the right to reject publication of clearly inflammatory opinions rife with personal attacks?

  8. Renee Cwiek said:

    Some interesting facts that have conveniently been left out:

    1. Students will have multiple opportunities to take the NECAP as a senior or an alternate junior college placement test in math.

    2. Achieving a 21 (partial proficiency) on the NECAP is only one of 4 requirements for THS students to receive a diploma.

    3. There is a copy of our NEASC accreditation letter on the school website that was sent to all parents to explain the commendations and recommendations.

    4. NEASC accreditation means timely college acceptance and added stability for home values, especially for towns that value education.

    5. 40% (over 4,000 juniors) in the state of RI did not achieve a score of 2.

    6. 85% of juniors in the state of RI with IEP’s will have to retake the NECAP as seniors.

    7. 50% of THS juniors that will retake the NECAP as seniors have IEP’s. The other 50% are within 5 points of the necessary score. Most are only 1 or 2 scaled points away.

    8. 75% of the students who will receive school day scheduled support three times per week have IEP’s.

    My big emphasis is on number 7. 50% of the 32% you have mentioned have IEP’s. That leaves 16% of juniors who were only a couple of points away. Was this information purposely left out? I can’t help but think it was.

  9. Bill Kelly said:

    At the middle school graduation a young woman came to the stage to get her diploma and was barefoot and wearing a cocktail dress! There were three hours of awards. One student got an award for the “quiet leader in art class.” The high school orientation evening included a GBLT armband. Every year we were there, the schools ran out of paper around April or May and the top students there cannot “pass” the PSSAT never mind NECAPS. The best thing I can say about Tiverton High School is we do not go there…. The town is building a Library for millions of dollars at a time when libraries all across the world are downsizing due tho the fact that books are disappearing. Taxes are THROUGH THE ROOF!

    • Renee Cwiek said:

      A middle school graduation that was three hours long? I don’t think so. I don’t see the problem with the arm bands? Good for them for wearing them. Maybe the girl who was barefoot had shoes on that were bothering her. Have you ever tried to wear heels?

  10. Mike Silvia said:

    1. What does a student’s attire at a middle school graduation have to do with anything?

    2. What’s wrong with giving out a lot of awards? Any award can lift the self-esteem of a child to encourage even greater future success.

    3. It was probably a GLBT armband, and what’s the big deal?

    4. You don’t pass a PSSAT. You don’t even pass a PSAT, which is what I think you meant.

    5. Tiverton needs a new library, which is a great community resource. The voters of Tiverton spoke on the library issue. Additional support will come from grants, pledges and donations.

    6. Yes, taxes are high. Everywhere. There are actually 17 towns in RI with a higher residential tax rate than Tiverton.

  11. Jim Lipe said:

    It would seem to me that instead of hiring a “school resource” officer this money would be better spent in helping these kids achieve the level of education needed to compete in the modern day world

  12. Jim Lipe said:

    Unless there is a big problem in the schools that the public doesn’t know about I think THAT money would be better spent on the students, wasn’t there a bunch of new camera’s installed, Safety and education are 2 different issues i believe,What makes a policeman a “school resource” person?

    • Renee Cwiek said:

      He’s not a school resource person. He’s a school resource officer. I know I have felt much better having him there. We did have another lock down a little over a week ago. I do not know about the new cameras.

    • Gloria Crist said:

      The cameras have been installed for a while now-they are not “new”…so don’t go all crazy. A school resource OFFICER- assists in making the school environment safer-and as mentioned above-is on par with many other communities around the state/country. Sounds like a solid, informed and wise decision to create a better learning environment for our students. You should be more concerned about the OVER $5,000 and counting- Justin Katz wasted of tax payer money on a frivolous complaint…just so he could (poorly) play the role of an attorney.

      • Jim Lipe said:

        Ms Christ , perhaps you should read your words printed about Mr Katz before you say i ” go all crazy” Are the schools really that dangerous? Since you play the “other Community ” card why do portsmouth kids preform so much better> Do you think It encourages Little Compton parents to send their kids here because we have more security? Again this in no way I can see contributes to a better education for any child in the Tiverton school system

  13. JustAnotherTaxpayer said:

    Jim L, your biased towards the superintendent of schools and the School Department is well known. So anything you say is biased and in most cases ill-informed(I am being kind.) Stick to the tolls issue.

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