Law Center Attorney Testifies Before SRC

In May 2011, Law Center attorney Michael Churchill addressed the School Reform Commission (SRC) in response to a report issued by the Accountability Review Council (ARC), urging them to sharpen their analysis of the Renaissance School initiative over the coming year.

Renaissance Schools, Churchill noted, are a key element of the District’s strategy to close the achievement gap between minority students and white students. While Churchill commended the SRC for an overall increase in district test scores over the past three years, he stressed the report’s finding that the achievement gap has remained the same as overall scores have increased.

In order to close the gap, Churchill argued that closer analysis of what is working and what isn’t will be necessary. He urged the ARC to conduct school-by-school analysis that measures the effect of “programmatic differences between the schools,” such as staffing, educational programs, extra-curricular activities, school safety strategies, professional development for teachers and staff, and school leadership. With that kind of detailed analysis, Churchill argued, the SRC and school community members will be able to make informed decisions in the future about which programs aren’t working and need to be cut, and which have been successful and should be extended.

Read Michael Churchill’s full testimony to the SRC