Two local districts are high ranking
SUNBURY – A former school board member and education expert says school districts that perform well know how to spend money properly on priority areas. Cindy O’Hora of Selinsgrove says there is a good resource for seeing how local school districts compare to others in the state.
O’Hora said the Pittsburgh Business Times rank all the school districts in the state based on academic achievement. They take the last three years of achievement on the PSSA’s in reading, math, science and writing and they aggregate the data to reach a ranking.
Two local districts were ranked very well including Lewisburg, which is the highest ranking school district in the region. They were ranked 16th in the state this year and began in 2007 at 39th. O’Hora said, “Obviously Lewisburg has made substantial progress, even though they are very high achieving, and they are to be commended for that.” Also ranking well was Selinsgrove at 101st. Back in 2007, they were ranked at 235th, so they have progressed as well.
O’Hora believes the key to a successful district is how they spend their money. She said, “It’s all about where that money goes. Adding a lacrosse team will not improve reading in third grade. If you have a challenge or problem with third grade reading, where would you put the money? That’s the question. Unfortunately, over time, there are school districts that make choices that don’t seem consistent with academics being their number one mission.”
O’Hora is hopeful that with limited funding available in today’s economy, that school districts will spend the majority of their funds on core academics. (Ali Stevens)