Chariho School Parents’ Forum

March 27, 2008

Must be the name

Filed under: merit pay,School Choice — Editor @ 12:00 am

As names go, “Angus” isn’t typical.  Oddly enough, there are two men named Angus you should know about.

Angus Davis is a member of the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education.  He is asking for input from parents and taxpayers.  I have posted the entire text over at the OSPRI blog, but here is the gist of the issue:

Have you ever wondered how we can graduate 90% of our kids but only 22% of them can pass math?  That’s because the NECAP test scores only account for “less than 10%” of the graduation requirements.  The rest is attendance, portfolio, attitude, etc…

The Regents are trying to increase that to “at least 33%.”  Unfortunately, most of the people they hear from are “special interest groups.”  Please read his message and let them know how you feel on the topic.  It is important that the policy makers know what you want.

The other Angus is Angus McBeath.  Angus McBeath was the Superintendent in Edmonton Alberta. a district with about 80,000 students (too late to dig, but I think RI is about 120k).  He made three changes
1) complete choice – at the start of each year, kids could apply to any school – all money pooled together.
2) allowed schools to individualize (much like the Swedish model) when choice is given, schools tend to personalize. you get science schools, arts, etc…
3) data driven accountability – basically merit pay.

Google his success – “best managed district in North America

With the apparent inertia towards “consolidation” it is more important than ever to ensure individualized control.  If they take our money, at least let us make the buying decisions.

PS. A U.S. Supreme Court case in 2002 ruled that as long as the money goes to a voucher which allows the parent “complete control of the decision” it was ruled that that decision could even be made to a religious based school (because the state had no influence in the decision).



  1. NEA is the biggest obstacle to choice but also naive people think choice is an end to public schools. Not true. Choice turns every school into a public school. Others claim choice hurts special ed and minorities kids. Again a false argument as proven everywhere choice is tried. The key is parents decide and nobody can be trusted more than parents to make the right choice for their kids. Parents know their kids better than goverment employees could ever know them. I don’t think Waldorf would be good for my kids. Somebody else thinks it is wonderful. We both get to choose and we both could be right. Want schools to stay out of teaching sex because you want to do it yourself? Pick a school that sticks to teaching. Want help with teaching sex? Pick a school with experts. Around the world school choice is the norm. American kids are falling further and further behind. We don’t want to jeopardize teachers jobs so we go along with the failing system. We may be as stupid as we seem to want our kids to be.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — March 27, 2008 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  2. Hi!
    Most people know I am an active Republican so I will be accused of partisan bias. However the Democrats generally speaking are in undeniable political debt to the teacher’s unions so it is questionable how flexible they can be on education reform. Check out ,.
    On the Rhode Island level I do not know of a way other than checking out finance reports of the Rhode Island Board of Elections web site or checking union web sites and individual web sites of candidates who individual unions and special interest PAC’s are supporting.
    While I give kudos to Mr. Petit for support of a management study which seems to have gone by the wayside, I am interested in hearing his and other school committee members on how they propose to expand transparency in our schools.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — March 29, 2008 @ 9:03 am | Reply

  3. […] on the upcoming hearing at the Board of Regents regarding the change in test requirements.  Angus Davis provided some info for use before.  No surprise, they are against the […]

    Pingback by Making test matter « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — August 19, 2008 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

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