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[Guest Blog Post] Horry County Schools and Eating the Elephant

A school in crisis, a D rating on the state report card, disadvantaged students working below grade level, generational poverty, a culture of underperformance, a widely held view that the situation was hopeless - all of these were descriptions and perceptions of Whittemore Park Middle School a little over a year ago. The elephant in the room? Perhaps it was the unspoken belief that bringing about transformation and increasing student achievement and engagement in a public school in which nearly 90% of the children were children of poverty was impossible; perhaps it was the notion of some educational reformers that change can occur only if we could find the “right” teachers; perhaps the elephant was the weight of the public education system itself and the years of moving students through our factory model; perhaps it was all of these.

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