Saturday, June 16, 2012


Friday's edition of Business First -- Buffalo's weekly for businesses and non-profits -- featured its annual schools report, a giant insert that analyzes and ranks Western New York school districts in various categories.

Most of the ratings are not subjective as the Business First staff uses readily-accessible educational and demographic data.

Roy-Hart, once again, made a poor showing in the report. Of the 97 school districts in WNY, we came in at #62, which puts us in the 36.5% percentile (last year Royalton-Hartland was 52nd).  Of Niagara County schools, we are just 9th out of 10, the only school district performing worse than ours was Niagara Falls.

In terms of English & Languages, Roy-Hart got 2 out of 5 stars on their scale, as we placed 50th out of 97 school districts.

For mathematics, Roy-Hart received 2 out of 5 stars, as we placed 56th out of 97. 

In terms of Science, Roy-Hart got 3 out of 5 stars on their scale, as we placed 47th out of 97. 

Social Studies was a disaster as we received 1 out of 5 stars, as Roy-Hart was 80 out of 97 districts.

The Business First staff places an emphasis on graduating with advanced designations. Looking at that statistic, Roy-Hart ranks a paltry 80th in WNY with just 27.7% of graduates receiving advanced designations.

The above results do not match the assumptions gleaned from teacher experience as Roy-Hart's teacher's are in the top half. They are ranked 38th in WNY in regard to experience. On top of that, our teacher's rank as the 40th most-compensated lot in WNY.

All of the above contributes to the Achievement Index, which compares a school's academic ranks against its socioeconomic climate. Roy-Hart sits in the BOTTOM 5,  at 93rd. That means that our students are major underachievers as they should be performing at a higher rate based on family income, etc. That 93rd ranking is absolutely horrible considering our district sports the 31st best quality of life in WNY.

On a somewhat positive note, Roy-Hart ranks 15th overall in terms of cost effectiveness, (comparing academic score and spending)  spending $14,187 per pupil. BUT, before you go saying we need to spend more money to get better results, realize the following:

1) Williamsville is the best district year-in, year-out in Western New York and they spend $14,444 per pupil, not much more than we do.

2) Nationally, the average spent per pupil is in public schools is $11,463. So, we are already spending 24% above the rest of the nation for so-so results.

3) Looking beyond the world of public schools, DeSales has far better academics than Roy-Hart at one-third the cost.

If you want to see how the rest of the local districts compare to us, grab a copy of the Business First report at work, or buy a copy on local newsstands.

What everyone in the community needs to do is start a conversation and identify what WE are doing wrong. Yes, WE....parents are as much to blame as the teachers and the system itself as so clearly identified in the achievement index. Our district's kids are underachievers!!

The school, the parents, the local residents and the students need to work together to identify our  district's flaws and then put a system in place to correct our homes as much as in our classrooms!

If we don't, Roy-Hart will continue to be a laughing stock and our children, grandchildren, and neighbors will suffer because of it.