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So, what do you think of our Cornwall School System? Ask this question to any one of your neighbors and most of them will likely tell you what they heard. And what they heard is that our school system is pretty good. Well our dirty little secret is that only 59% of our high school graduates intent to go on to 4 year colleges, according to The New York State School Report Card.

Cornwall Taxpayers United used to have a link here to the Cornwall Schools website which indicated that only 64% of our high school graduating class go on to 4 year colleges. Our district has moved this page to an unknown location and with good reasons. According to the most recent report card on our school district, the number of graduating students going on to 4 year colleges has dropped to 59%. It's no wonder that in a recent Cornwall Local article, Cornwall Educrats appear to be arguing in favor of redefining what constitutes success on State Tests, although they lament the possible need for more Academic Intervention as a result of the State change. The Cornwall Local reported in an article on February 18, 2011, that whereas a 2 on a State Test used to mean "does not meet standards" going forward a 2 on a State Test will mean "meets the standards". Talk about dumbing down our kids!

Sadly there are a plethora of New York City High Schools that routinely outperform Cornwall High School Students in such categories as Graduation rates; regents diplomas; regents diplomas with advanced designation; and graduates going on to 4 year colleges. These are not just the elite High Schools of New York City such as Stuyvesant High School or the Bronx high school of Science or Brooklyn tech. But also much lesser prestigious New York City High Schools such as; Eleanor Roosevelt high school in Manhattan; Midwood High school in Brooklyn; Bard High School in Queens; Queens High Schools for sciences at York College; High Schools for Law and Public Services in Manhattan; Staten Island Tech High School of Richmond County; High School for Dual Languages and Asian Studies in Manhattan; Baccalaureate School of Global Education in Queens NY and there are many more.

Incidentally, did you know that in the US News and World Report of December 9, 2009, in an article titled "Top 100 High Schools in the Country" a full 10 % of those top 100 High Schools are in New York City? They are: Bronx High School of Science at #58; Brooklyn Technical High School at #63; Staten Island Tech High School of Richmond County at #34; High School for Dual Languages and Asian Studies in Manhattan at #52; Baccalaureate School of Global Education in Manhattan at #35; Stuyvesant High School at #31; New Explorations Science, Tech and Math at #64; Townsend Harris High School at #33; High School for Law and Public Service in Manhattan at #75 and Queens High School for Sciences at York College at #81.

Our objective in pointing out our shortcomings and comparing ourselves to these schools is not to denigrate our school district, nor our teachers, nor our administrators. Our goal in pointing out these facts is to disclose our districts shortfalls and hopefully push our teachers and administrators to be the best that they can be, and not accept mediocrity for our school children. If we are paying for a Cadillac and we get a broken down Chevrolet, then we have the right to be angry and demand more.

In an article titled “District defends math scores” in the January 5, 2007 issue of the Cornwall Local, the Educrats put the blame on the children themselves for a 24% drop in the passing rate of kids taking the Math test B. Educrat Brooks reasons that the 24% drop in the passing rate is due to the fact that there are more children taking the test. Well then Educrat Brooks, why don't you also explain to the citizens of Cornwall why the top 20% of the high school graduating class are mainly being accepted to 2nd and 3rd tier colleges? And if this is what is happening to the top 20% of the graduating class, where do you think that the remaining 80% wind up going?

It's time that we held our Educrats, teachers and school board members accountable for failing our children. The Cornwall Local was correct in an article titled “whose in charge here” (see Local of March 9, 2007) whereby the editor essentially stated that the school board is little more than a cheerleading committee for passing of the School Budget. My cynical conspiracy side tells me to follow the money. The School Budget vote is scheduled for May 17, 2011.