News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Bratz Left Behind: Reston's Dogwood Elementary Now on Double Secret Probation

images.jpegThe run of bad luck at Dogwood Elementary, which burned to the ground several years ago, continues. Despite gains, the South Reston school did not meet the required benchmarks in the high-stakes testing required by No Child Left Behind, and is now on double secret probation:

Dogwood Elementary School in Reston has now reached the highest level of sanctions of any Fairfax County school that is under the auspices of the federal Title I program. Schools that don’t receive Title I funding are still measured against the objectives, but are not sanctioned if they fail to meet the benchmarks.

The school system must now develop an alternative governance plan for Dogwood, which could involve reopening the school as a charter school, completely overhauling the staff, or turning over school operations to a private educational company. If Dogwood does not meet the benchmarks on next year’s tests, the school system could have to implement the plan.

Dogwood students in almost every subgroup actually exceeded the minimum pass rates, except for black students’ English tests. About 71 percent of black students passed the English SOL, showing no improvement over last year, while pass rates in other subgroups leaped by as much as a dozen percentage points.
On the other hand, McNair Elementary in Herndon, which has had four principals in eight years, just got off "the list." No word, though, on what has apparently become the single best indicator of student success in this part of the county -- the comparative use of Bratz dolls by their respective student bodies.


  1. The Convict in the South Reston GulagAugust 21, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    It's simple, really. Once they learn that the appropriate conjugation of the verb "to be" is not I be, you be, he/she/it be, we be, they be, they should be almost in the literate and comprehensible range.

    The other alternative would be to turn StoneGate into market rate housing.

  2. The irony is that the programs that have contributed the most to the gains (and give hope to coming off "double secret probration") have been cut from next year's budget.

    The modified school schedule which makes Dogwood a year round school and provides addional services throughout the year has been cut from the school board budget.

    Might as well line up the firing squad for the school and it's super hard working staff that has made this much progress now.

  3. When you slice subgroups a bunch of different ways, only a handful of students -- literally -- can make the difference between a school making AYP or not. Doesn't quite seem fair for anyone involved.

  4. My first kid at Dogwood in the '70s drew Mrs. Nysmith (yes that Nysmith). He couldn't have done better.

    Alas, Mrs. Ny moved on. His younger brother drew a second-grade teacher that hadn't mastered her curriculum. Actually "corrected" his grammatical english into Eubonics.

    The only useful skill he gained at Dogwood was fisticuffs. We moved them to Sunrise Valley.

  5. Scubadiver,

    News flash, your "genuis" children will end up at Hughes and South Lakes..where believe it or not, the Dogwood children will be...omg! Can you take it? You better start brow beating them now in hopes they make it into advice maybe you should've moved out of the Stratton Woods ghetto or out of Dogwood bounds, but maybe you couldn't afford it?

  6. Another success for that loser, Stu Gibson!

    When are the Hunter Mill Democrats going to get an effective school board member?

  7. anon 11:47- I believe scubadiver was commenting on the quality of the school, not the students. Also, he says his oldest child was there in the 70s, so I'm guessing they have been out of the school system for a while.

  8. Thanks a lot, Dogwood, for nearly screwing up my mortgage refinance. I don't even fall into your district, but the bozos at Bank of America didn't care. I tried to tell them that there's a reason for houses right across Reston Parkway selling for $100K less than my house, but they didn't care. Something about 'it's the law - you can't discriminate against school districts' Kids? Who cares about the kids? I wanted my 5% 30-year fixed. Dammit, I thought this was strictly a problem for Stratton Woods.

  9. That's what you get when you always assume that problems are "someone else's!"


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