Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Huff, Winston: Bright Futures improves graduation rates, grades, discipline
The recording was made a few days before the announcement that Bright Futures USA, the not-for-profit organization that supposedly has nothing whatsoever to do with Bright Futures Joplin, has hired Huff for a full-time position.
During the interview, Huff takes the basic idea of Bright Futures in a direction that has not been mentioned before, but which has been obvious to those who have been watching what has been happening in Joplin, as he refers to "growing up next generation school board members."
Two of the candidates who ran for the one-year seat on the board in April were associated with Bright Futures, including Nancy Good, who has served on the board of directors of Bright Futures USA since its inception.
The voters were not ready for this new generation of board members, as Jennifer Martucci received more votes than Good and Melinda Campbell combined.
Huff and Winston both talk of having five years of data proving that Bright Futures works. That data includes a 15 percent increase in graduation rates, fewer disciplinary referrals, and better grades.
Actually, none of that data provides evidence that Bright Futures has had any effect at all. District teachers have told the Turner Report of mandates to keep failures down to a certain small percentage of the students and disciplinary referrals, including some that would have brought suspensions in the past have been heavily discouraged.
That doesn't stop Huff and Winston from citing these things as evidence.
"Bright Futures is the backbone that makes these things happen," Huff said.