Letter to the Editor: Collingswood Schools State Report Card

Patch reader Joanna Mills sent us her analysis of the 2011 state report card for the Collingswood school district. Superintendent Scott Oswald offers his thoughts in a separate letter.

To the editor: 

While all eyes seem to be focused these days on the Collingswood High School basketball program and its coach, the school has once again fallen short academically, in some areas significantly, than the state average in all categories as reported in the Department of Education’s school report card for the 2010-11 school year.

The average SAT scores for Collingswood students were well below the average in all areas when compared to state scores as well as to neighboring high schools.

Here is a breakdown:

School Math Verbal Essay Total Collingswood 496 469 468 1433 Haddon Heights 497 488 474 1459 Audubon 506 487 480 1473 Haddon Township 511 494 480 1485 State Average 518 494 496 1508

The bad news for CHS doesn’t stop there, unfortunately. The percentage of students not testing at an advanced level on is even more disturbing.

School Language Arts
Percentage) Collingswood 11.4 16.1 Haddon Heights 13.9 29.2 Audubon 15.5 27.2 Haddon Township 31.7 31.9 State Average 21.2 25.7

The report also notes that students spend the second shortest amount of time in school as well as the second-shortest amount of instructional time compared to the same schools mentioned above.

As a way to increase instructional time, several area high schools have eliminated “homeroom” at the beginning of the school day. It is unknown if Collingswood has considered this step in addition to the schedule blocking and rotations which have been discussed.

In addition to its academic scores, student suspensions from school were well above the state rate. Collingswood (21 percent, State 13 percent). The Department of Education defines this part of their school report card as:

“These are percentages of students who were suspended at least once during the school year. Students suspended more than one time are counted once. The percents are calculated by dividing the total number suspended by the total enrollment.”

Lastly, Collingswood has the highest cost per pupil, $17,274 when compared to Audubon and Haddon Township and Haddon Height schools (state averages are not available).

Perhaps the administration, faculty and parents need to keep an eye on the academic ball instead of the basketball.

Joanna Mills

To view the full report, click here; a state guide to its interpretation is here. You can also read a response from Collingswood Superintendent Scott Oswald.

Shirley June 11, 2012 at 07:44 PM
What does the future hold for the child whose best is a C grade?
B June 11, 2012 at 08:00 PM
A neurosurgeon? No. But to say they can't have a successful and happy life because they get C's is also extremely ignorant.
Shirley June 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I'm not saying that grades determine a happy life. I AM curious to know what sort of future that child can look forward to. I should have specified 'employment future'. We have young people looking unsuccessfully for work who have newly minted BA degrees. What sort of work is available to the high school graduate? I am presuming that a C average would not open any college doors but concede that I may be wrong on that point.
B June 11, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Many students with a C average go to college every year.
Shirley June 11, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thank you for clarifying that for me.


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