The NH Dept. of Ed along with Governor Hassan has repeatedly referenced the Pittsfield School District as a great example of success in NH. In fact, The Atlantic recently posted this article citing their self-proclaimed success.
The problem with these kinds of glossy articles is they never really uncover what is actually going on in the school.
One should always question School Administrators because we’ve seen example after example of schools “cooking the books” to fool parents.
Pittsfield’s last NECAP scores are higher than before – BUT! – only 28 students in the 11th grade took the test. According to other sources, there were nearly 60 students in the class when they entered PMHS as Freshmen – that means that they have nearly a 50% attrition rate – Students dropped out, went to alternative high schools, out of district placement, and so on. Don’t be fooled! Their reported test scores are all smoke and mirrors – look at where all the students have gone – AND look at where the graduating seniors are going to college (hint: mostly community colleges.
Some have gone on to private schools, some are pulled for homeschooling, some drop out – You should always be suspect of schools claiming huge gains in test scores – remember Erasure-gate?
They have NO data on their website about atriticion but many “dropouts” are simply listed as going into an alt program, so that they can keep their numbers up. LOOK closely at the data – very closely.
“Drop out” is a misnomer in Pittsfield. It “really” doesn’t happen. School Board/District policy is “Failure is not an option,” therefore Competency Based education is their answer. Also, those deeply troubled students don’t get to drop out anymore, they merely get an HQT (highly qualified teacher) to approve some “workable” solution to get them through. They don’t even have to be at school anymore.
Some of the kids have been known to “party” at home all day and “graduate” anyway.