2001-04-10 Domenech misrepresents Excel: Wasteful program drives up taxes
DOMENECH MISREPRESENTS EXCEL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/10/01
CONTACT: ARTHUR PURVE phone: 703 281-0176 e-mail: email@example.com
DOMENECH MISREPRESENTS EXCEL WASTEFUL PROGRAM DRIVES UP TAXES
Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, today accused the Fairfax County School Board and school superintendent, Dr. Daniel A. Domenech, of driving up taxes to fund the ineffective Excel program.
Excel is Dr. Domenech's flagship program. Its goal is to raise achievement in the twenty lowest-performing elementary schools. According to the proposed FY2002 school budget, Excel's annual cost is $14.7 million. Dr. Domenech claims that Excel is so effective that he wants to increase its funding by another $6.5 million.a two-percent salary increase for teachers costs $22 million. While teachers are asking for a six-percent increase, the proposed FY2002 budget offers a two-percent increase. A Nov. 14, 2000, school press release about the Student Achievement Index (SAI) states,"... five of the six top-scoring elementary schools are Excel schools." The SAI is based on scores from the state-mandated Standards of Learning and Stanford 9 tests. (Visit www.fcps.edu/testing.htm) The Taxpayers Alliance compared the Excel results with the results of the twenty lowest-scoring elementary schools that did not have the Excel program. "What the schools' press release did not say is that the twenty low-scoring non-Excel schools fared the same as the twenty Excel schools," Mr. Purves stated. "Also, of the top 16 schools in the SAI improvement index, six were Excel and six were low-scoring non-Excel schools. Of the bottom 16 schools, two were low-scoring non-Excel schools and five were Excel." Overall, the SAI increased an average of four points for the low-scoring non-Excel schools and only three points for the Excel schools. "Dr. Domenech should cancel the program and save the taxpayers $15 million," Mr. Purves concluded. In comparison, The average SAI improvement for all elementary schools was also three points.