"Croal Dude Report" sheds data on UCPS - myfoxcarolinas.com

"Croal Dude Report" sheds data on UCPS

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There's a new development going up on Weddington Road in Union County.

Right now, there are no homes or foundations -- it's mostly dirt. But for some, that dirt, breeds disappointment.

Mike Croal keeps a jar of dirt from that development on his office desk.

"This is the dirt from Atherton Estates, a new subdivision in Weddington with no homes in it," Mike Croal of Wesley Chapel said. "And it's the reason why two of my five children are not going to be able to graduate from Weddington High School."

Croal's students are proposed to be redistricted from the Weddington to Sun Valley cluster in Union County. The proposed plan will move nearly 6,000 students for a projection of 284 students over the cap.

Croal put together a 100-plus page report, titled, "The Croal Dude Report," that has circulated throughout the inboxes of most Union County parents affected by the redistricting proposal.

His finding display plenty of numbers on the overcrowding or lack of, depending on how you interpret the data. What he says he more important, is the correlation between redistricting and testing performance among students.

"We don't have a crisis of overcrowding," Croal said. "We do have a crisis of student performance and under performance at certain schools in the district."

Many parents have tossed aaroundthe idea that redistricting is actually a plan to move high-performing students to lower-performing schools to balance out test scores throughout the county.

While data show the high-performing schools having the most students moved, those schools are also the most populated and have had the most growth in their cluster's areas.

What Croal says is the biggest point of data to take from his report is that school performance, good or bad, has a strong correlation with English proficiency.

He says the way the community has came together as "one" to protest redistricting has been a positive. What he would rather see, is the effort people have put in to stop redistricting, be used to help out the students in lower performing schools.

"I think if the county would take advantage of the passion that's been created of people that want to stay in their schools, and work with these groups to improve these schools, we can make some positive difference as to where it matters," Croal said. "Instead of bussing people around."

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