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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lehigh Valley School Districts Get Lousy Report Cards

The Lehigh Valley fares poorly in the latest Niche rating of public school districts. This ranking is based on "rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users."

Parkland School District is ranked 21st in the state, which is nice. Its grade is A plus, which is even nicer. There were 18 generally positive reviews, too. But from there it goes downhill.

#64 - East Penn School District
#72 - Wilson Area School District
#80 - Nazareth Area School District (Although the reviews were generally good, one student complained that "I was bullied and was treated unfairly because of my race at this school. The administration did nothing and I had to handle this on my own. I pray for any kid that has to go to this school. My best advice is to get your education and make it out on top. Don't worry about people, worry about your future."
#87 - Southern Lehigh School District
#96 - Palisades School District
#105 - Salisbury Tp School District
#112 - Northwestern Lehigh School District
#117 - Saucon Valley School District
#141 - Whitehall Coplay School District
#145 - Bethlehem Area School District (There were an amazing 29 reviews, and only one was negative)
#155 - Northampton Area School District
#161 - Lehighton Area School District
#208 - Easton Area School District

After #262, Niche stops ranking the schools and assigns a grade instead.

B minus:
Pen Argyl Area School District
Bangor Area School District
Catasauqua Area School District
Northern Lehigh School District

C Minus:

Allentown City School District.

Interestingly, there were 13 reviews of Allentown from former students who were generally positive. One former student said it is "like being in a melting pot of different cultures and races." Another complimented the teachers as "encouraging" and "well-rounded."

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

East Penn?

Anonymous said...

Slate Belt, figures. Now the teachers want even more money.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Missed East Penn. will check.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just added. Thanks for catching my omission.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, the Express-times ranked the Lehigh Valley school districts according to the latest math scores. Out of the 26 school districts, Bangor was 3rd from the bottom- just ahead of Dieruff and Allen. Every year, instead of higher test scores, we get higher taxes.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, your topics are getting less interesting.

Anonymous said...

The most important metric? "Percent of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch". 45% for Easton! That means almost half of students come from families who are at or below the poverty line. And thus the cycle of poverty continues.

Anonymous said...

And of coursxe, Wolf wants to limit PSSAs so these kinds of ratings can't be made. He's in bed with the Teacher Unions. I'm not surprised, considering the Allentown School District brings up the bottom of the barrel.

Anonymous said...

My God there are a lot of school districts. Each is a fiefdom with it's own bloated administration and trough-feeding gravy train. NorCo has eight. Eight! PA has 67 counties. There should be no more than one district per county.

Anonymous said...

PSSAs are a waste of time.

And shouldn't the schools with the lowest scores should get a bigger slice of the budget-pie anyway? They need the most help.

Anonymous said...

Without real competition there will not be improvement. Vouchers, different school approaches, and we will eventually find things that work better. The schools are all about the teachers and administrators, more money, more pensions, the students are just a means to the school bureaucracy ends.

Anonymous said...

Looks like schools are all about fat cats, administration, teachers. What about kids and tax payers? Home owners? Keep up good work Bernie!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Were do these charter schools rate in this tragic affair. Are they in the districts were buildings reside or are they considered to be also in the districts were children are imported to and from?

My children are from the catty school district and my grade for some of the teachers and that particular administration is a F-! There failier to do justice for the children is reprehencible and repulsive.
REpublican redd

Anonymous said...

Northampton Area School District and it's spend-drift Superintendent has the temerity to keep raising school taxes, while their score of 155 in the state is not worthy of the never ending tax increases. This school board and their happy go-lucky Superintendent has to be put out to pasture. Bring back the good old days when the school board listened to the people and spending was curbed in NASD. All these people want to do is give out big annual salary increases, hire more teachers, provide more educational courses and build more buildings. People, this is not Parkland or East Penn School Districts and these scores prove this!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the school and its teachers. Its all socio-economics and demographics. Learning, teaching, respect all begins in the home. Teachers shouldn't have to babysit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:23 said:

"My God there are a lot of school districts...PA has 67 counties. There should be no more than one district per county."


Yes, because our larger districts are the best performing [sarcasm intended].

Go back and look at the rankings. Larger districts do not mean better performance.

They should be looking at breaking up some of the larger, under-performing districts and clearing out some of the career bureaucrats that are hiding there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:27 said:

"And shouldn't the schools with the lowest scores should get a bigger slice of the budget-pie anyway? They need the most help."


And that's an incentive to improve?

No, the parents of the schools in the lower-performing schools should be given vouchers to attend the school of their choice.

That way, the school - and the district - can work to fix the problem is.

Anonymous said...

Education as a physical institution needs to end. There was a time when social interaction: athletic events, dances, lunch, etc was an important part of the maturation process. That is not as relevant in the social setting today as it was in the past. Young people do not hang out at drive ins, the mall or like venues. They are social media driven. Work that forum. Social media and the cyber school are in the future whether you like it or not. Do things in the cyber classroom with appointment times for extra tutoring assistance on line. Saturday appoints for hands on. Parents will be responsible to ensure children are at the computer learning and not disrupting the classroom. Teachers will then teach. Both have to be responsible. Athletics will be a club sport just like youth leagues and funded that way. There is a lot to work out but the reduction in staff, building maintainence and non-classroom education expenses to the tax payer would be monumental. Society has changed and the educational has not kept up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, your topics are getting less interesting."

Yet here you are, at 4:21 am.

Anonymous said...

Our educational system is a total failure. Throwing more money at a already failed system doesn't solve the problems. We all know that the money just goes to the teacher's union, salaries and a sizeable benefits package.

Signed a former school system employee!

Anonymous said...

their are many ways to judge schools.if you look at schools at
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/pennsylvania

the rankings from niche involve surveys? and student responses so factoring in a opinion and calling it fact is a stretch.
looking at various schools with usnews you can see that the hard numbers are closer between a high rated "niche" ranking and lower ranking schools.

as to costs and teachers you tend to get what you pay for.
expecting a world class education system for nothing is just laughable.
as to the priorities of schools they tend to respond to what the public wants
football is more important then chemistry lab for example.
try

http://articles.mcall.com/2013-10-01/news/mc-quakertown-football-player-1001-20131001_1_neck-injury-football-team-football-injuries

quakertown has six football coaches.
seems the town wants more football than education

Bernie O'Hare said...

Their? If you start a sentence like that, it is your own education that is deficient.

Anonymous said...

Bangor are the highest paid teachers in the IU20 yet is third from the bottom. Pay teachers based on results not entitlement

Anonymous said...

5.09
yep it is a piss poor way to start a sentence.
a product of a school that valued football over composition
of course you side stepped the hubris of how niche ranks schools for example.
if you want to play with stats you can prove almost anything.
ranking schools with percentages based of feelings and survey opinions is less than optimal.
take Parkland vs northampton or #22 vs #155
on usnews they are closer in hard numbers than niche would have you believe.
so which site would you want to believe?
or are both suspect?

Anonymous said...

@4:10
If you are so displeased about it, did you leave voluntarily, forced out, or give up your retirement money?

Anonymous said...

my bad
parkland is #21

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
The one up at 4:21 am could be like forest gumps principle. Seeking a little extra curricular activities with mothers of the innocent indigent ones it has authority over!

Anonymous said...

Here is a basic idea. Try going back to the basics and educate students. Common core academic education and test prepping all day is just a waste of time and money. Our kids deserve a better educational system.

george schaller said...

You are not the grammar police in cognito are you?

Anonymous said...

The Slate Belt is an educational desert. Look at the last election..says it all. Uneducated young people voted for Trump..out of ignorance. Bangor and Pen Argyl schools should be ashamed..but are they?

Anonymous said...

Our education system is not a failure. The people posting here need to take a good look in the mirror. Kids are coming out of Lehigh Valley schools and doing great things. Doctors, Business owners, Lawyers, Architects, Skilled Tradesmen/women. It is all what the student puts into his/her education and the family support behind the scene.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that there are more than 500 school districts in PA.