School superintendent finds support for reforms lacking

November 19, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Carroll County's high scores in the school performance tests are not the good news some have touted them to be, county school Superintendent R. Edward Shilling told a group of business leaders yesterday.

In fact, Mr. Shilling chastised business leaders and teachers at the county Economic Development Commission meeting for not supporting school reforms based on a list of standards students are expected to meet by the time they graduate from high school.

"I wouldn't say we are the best school system in the state," he said, referring to a recent headline in a local newspaper. "We're among the top performers in anybody's book. But we've got a long way to go to make this the kind of school system we want it to be."

Mr. Shilling said business leaders should check students' records to make sure the information they give on applications is accurate.

"That is not public information, but if these are things you are interested in, you have to ask them, 'Are you willing to sign a waiver?' " he said.

In addition, the business leaders must tell school officials what they need students to know, and must participate in the reform process.

Few people from the business community attended the five reform summits school officials held with the public this summer, he said.

"If that is what you value, you have to act on your values," Mr. Shilling said. "We can't get this done alone. It will take all of you making sure we are responding to what you value."

Business owners also can help educators inform the public that the schools need reform, the superintendent said, because parents don't realize that their children have different educational needs than they did.

"The community's expectations are not high enough," Mr. Shilling said. "Most parents think this is a good school system and think we don't need reform, and the legislature definitely doesn't have school reform on its agenda."

Mr. Shilling also called the state teacher's union an "impediment to school improvement."

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