Archive for Thursday, September 15, 2005

Making Baldwin proud II

September 15, 2005

We were as thrilled as anyone when the word spread fast that the Baldwin School District was named one of the top 16 districts in the state by a study conducted by Standard and Poor to determine where tax dollars were providing the best education.

It was welcome news for the district, which has borne more than its share of criticism over the past few years.

This was an independent audit of almost all of the school districts in Kansas. To be among the sweet 16 is an honor. The entire district -- and that includes everyone, all staff, all students -- deserves a pat on the back.

We thought it was unjust several years ago when the district was "black listed" because of the changes made resulting from new mandates by the federal government. Although the only "problem" involved a small group of special needs students, it painted the entire district with the same brush.

It wasn't fair.

But, it brought on a response by teachers, administrators, staff and students never seen before in Baldwin. Everyone put their noses to the grindstone and improved test scores year after year.

This was going on while the school board had to deal with a decline in funding from the state. Belts were tightened, programs and services cut. It wasn't a good time, but it had to be done. The district got down to lean fighting weight, obviously.

That is clearly shown by the S&P audit that was looking at use of dollars and the education provided in those districts. Evidently, Baldwin is getting the biggest bang for its buck.

It's not surprising that Supt. James White was thrilled with the news. He's had enough bad news over the past few years. There was an obvious pride in his voice when we called him about the results.

He credited a team effort. That's good to hear. Everyone in the school district -- from the top, which is the school board, to those youngest of students -- has made us all proud.

Now it's a matter of sticking to it.

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