Washington Township Education Coalition 



     July 17, 2014 

 UPDATE:  WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP RECEIVES DECISION APPROVING EDUCATIONAL MERIT  

    
The Department of Education has announced its decision regarding the educational merit of a transfer of Washington Township students to the Northern York County School District.  The Secretary made a resounding decision of educational merit (supporting a transfer to Northern).  As expected, the Department made its decision in favor of the vast majority of Washington Township residents who seek an educational future as part of the Northern district.  We thank the Department staff for their work in review of the decision of educational merit.  

     In its decision, the Department cited Northern's impressive list of educational advantages as supported by independent, empirical-based educational performance data.  Considerations of crime rates, truancy, graduation rates, standardized test performance (SAT/PSSA), transportation/distance and many other factors led the Department's decision.  Our 1,406+ WTEC supporters should take notice that this decision marks a major milestone in your patience, hard work and efforts for the long term educational future for Washington Township students.  Thank you!

     NEXT:  Our case now returns to the York County Court of Common Pleas.  Afterwards, our fate is then moved to the state Board of Education for another exhaustive review and determination of educational merit and approval.  There is no way to predict how long the process will take.  It is anticipated that the remainder of this process will be measured in terms of years rather than months.         

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Background:

     The vast majority of Washington Township residents, including at least 170 parents with children attending Dover schools have signed a legal petition, entered into the legal process to become part of the Northern York County School District. 
Northern offers an outstanding education, with long-term proven performance and educational outcomes, with better managed community schools and a 30% lower tax rate.  Northern has demonstrated long-term, higher standardized test scores (ex. SAT, AYP/NCLB, PSSA) as well as a higher districtwide score on the new school performance profile, as well as a wider curriculum, extra-curricular activities, higher graduation and college placement rates, a better community and geographic fit, much lower in-school crime, school arrests and truancy rates (than Dover) while offering Washington Township much closer schools on safer roads for travel.  As part of Northern's responses to the Secretary's official questionnaire, all Washington Township elementary students would most likely attend Northern and Wellsville elementary schools, offering closer elementary schools (than any Dover school) for all Washington Township students.  Independent, empirical, factual evidence concludes the obvious educational merit of this change.  

NORTHERN:  Closer Schools, Safer Schools, Less Crime, Truancy; A Stable, Better Managed District;  Lower Taxes, Consistently Better Performance, and the Legal Choice as Determined by Vast Majority of Washington Township.



Better Education, Outcomes, Performance:

12/12/13   The new PA Department of Education's School Performance Profile (SPP) ratings and comparison shine more favorably on Northern's schools.  Notably, Northern's aggregate score is 83.98, Dover's is 78.12.  Northern has an elementary school in the top ten of all schools in the nine county region of the midstate, juxtaposed with Dover intermediate school's score of 71, which is two points away from a failing score.  As expected, a comparative analysis and scores, similar to what has previously been documented for most important standardized tests/performance, displays Northern's higher overall #'s and %'s than Dover.  Over time, with more revealing figures to become available next year, the new DOE rating system is a new portrayal of district performance from the previous AYP/NCLB system.     

10/2/13 --   Confirmed SAT scores once again Northern students have achieved much higher SAT test scores than Dover
 

NORTHERN  --  Scored average of 520 (Verbal), 531 (Math) and 598 (Writing).  Northern scores are also higher than state and   national averages.
DOVER
          -- Scored average of 492 (Verbal), 490 (Math) and 466 (Writing). 

2012
NORTHERN  --  Scored average of 516 (Verbal), 531 (Math) and 500 (Writing)!   Northern scores are also higher than state and national averages.  
DOVER          --  Scored average of 472 (Verbal), 479 (Math) and 444 (Writing).   Dover scores average 50 points less per category.  <150 points overall. 
   
Northern's SAT performance is outstanding; top of York County, consistently higher than state and national averages.  Northern has outscored Dover in the SAT test in every category, every year, thirteen years in a row (since 2000).     

    A picture (or map) says a thousand words.  This map illustrates the even distribution of people who signed the legal petition and want to become part of the Northern district.  The map shows no lopsided favoring of any particular section of Washington Township.  To the outsider, this map may appear to be somewhat underwhelming.  Yet, considering that Washington Township has the second highest number of large, open space parcels of all townships in York County, the reality of this map begins to set in.  Due to decades of wise land use practices, Washington township has a large number of huge open spaces, big farms and many wide open properties.  Thus, looking at this map illustrates the support of vast majority of our people, where their residences are located (indicated by red dots) representing residents who signed the petition.   
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