Sunday's issue forum on the $23 million school bond proposal should be available soon on youtube. During the discussion, pro-bond supporter and member of Citizens for Quality Schools, Robert Bokram, took issue with some of my numbers (available here for anyone to review). He insisted that Ferndale's core K-12 program is populated with 87% in-district students.
Let's pretend his number is correct. Does that number reflect any better on our community's schools? Do we really believe that our community's students, after 13-years of a Ferndale School District education are only capable of a 36% proficiency in math? 53% in reading? 54% in science?
I would expect that if we believe Mr. Bokram's number is accurate, our community should be embarrassed that its dedication to its school system, that $62 million spent since 1995, and another $23 million proposed in two weeks has only managed to educate our students--to prepare them for their future--so disproportionately less-achieving than two other districts that share a boundary with ours.
Again, voters must ask themselves what is the district's goal for our students? What is its plan to achieve that goal? If there is a goal and there is a plan, is that goal and plan to increase our student's readiness for college and jobs in health-care, engineering, alternative power, or other high-tech industries our state is trying to grow?
The good news, if you can call it that, is that Ferndale is performing better than either Oak Park or Hazel Park. But with those two districts performing near the bottom, we should be careful not to brag too much.