The Mud of Mediocrity

While Gilroy’s elementary and middle schools are clearly on the
upward march on the Academic Performance Index, sadly the same is
not true for Gilroy High School.
This community’s lone high school is, like it or not, the lens
through which many see the Gilroy Unified School District. And GHS
is stuck in the mud, stuck in the mindset of lowered expectations
which leads to the trap of mediocrity. API scores, SAT scores, AP
scores and the number of students who leave the district at the
high school level all indicate that the weakest link in GUSD is
what should be its

crown jewel,

Gilroy High School.
It doesn’t mean that GHS is without good and committed teachers.
But clearly the enthusiasm for progress, the thirst for change and
the willingness to engage in self-examination has not gripped
Gilroy High the way is has taken hold in many other district
classrooms. Why that is the case should be a subject for intense
administrative focus. We would be hard pressed to place any item
higher on Superintendent Edwin Diaz’s priority list.
There are strong programs at the high school which shine
continually. Band, Phil Robb’s wonderful choirs, a revived drama
program and field hockey come quickly to mind. But all the academic
measuring sticks make it clear that Gilroy High students are not
progressing at an acceptable rate. That’s why it’s so disconcerting
when 200 students walk out of school to protest potential
immigration policy and Principal James Maxwell says it would be
impractical to impose consequences because of the numbers. Sorry,
but that’s not the message we should be sending to our students.
the message should be: Every minute in the classroom counts because
an education is a terrible thing to waste. But we digress.
Against the backdrop measurements indicating no progress, the
refrain

it’s happening at all the state’s high schools

is often repeated. So, what’s your point?
A

Focus on Gilroy High

should become the subject for an administrative accountability
report. What are the strategies, the actions and the timeline that
the teachers, administrators, students and parents believe will
move Gilroy High students forward.
GHS is stuck in the mud of mediocrity, and it’s weighing down
the progress taking root in the entire district.
While Gilroy’s elementary and middle schools are clearly on the upward march on the Academic Performance Index, sadly the same is not true for Gilroy High School.

This community’s lone high school is, like it or not, the lens through which many see the Gilroy Unified School District. And GHS is stuck in the mud, stuck in the mindset of lowered expectations, which leads to the trap of mediocrity. API scores, SAT scores, AP scores and the number of students who leave the district at the high school level all indicate that the weakest link in GUSD is what should be its “crown jewel,” Gilroy High School.

It doesn’t mean that GHS is without good and committed teachers. But clearly the enthusiasm for progress, the thirst for change and the willingness to engage in self-examination has not gripped Gilroy High the way it has taken hold in many other district classrooms. Why that is the case should be a subject for intense administrative focus. We would be hard-pressed to place any item higher on Superintendent Edwin Diaz’s priority list.

There are strong programs at the high school that shine continually. Band, Phil Robb’s wonderful choirs, a revived drama program and field hockey come quickly to mind. But all the academic measuring sticks make it clear that Gilroy High students are not progressing at an acceptable rate.

That’s why it’s so disconcerting when 200 students walk out of school to protest potential immigration policy, and Principal James Maxwell says it would be impractical to impose consequences because of the numbers. Sorry, but that’s not the message we should be sending to our students. The message should be: Every minute in the classroom counts because an education is a terrible thing to waste. But we digress.

Against the backdrop measurements indicating no progress, the refrain “it’s happening at all the state’s high schools” is often repeated. So, what’s your point?

A “Focus on Gilroy High” should become the subject for an administrative accountability report. What are the strategies, the actions and the timeline that the teachers, administrators, students and parents believe will move Gilroy High students forward?

GHS is stuck in the mud of mediocrity, and it’s weighing down the progress taking root in the entire district.

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