Cheryl's rave introduction about Raj and his "quiet, powerful leadership" personally made me angry. If she is that thrilled with Raj's performance, then I don't think she belongs on the Board. We have hired Carla Santorno because Raj isn't doing his job, and isn't able to do his job --- plain and simple.
- "Single most important job is to increase academic achievement and close the achievement gap." Claims that WASL scores show great success in this area.
- Attributes success in reading and writing to: "professional development in literacy, cultural competence, and focus work with bilingual students." (I'm not even sure I know what he's saying here.)
- "We showed that we could make significant progress in reading and writing, and we can do the same in math." Claims the middle school math curriculum adoption from this spring is key to this effort.
- "Efforts to close the achivement gap remain mixed."
- "We will not be satisfied until every student meets all standards and is ready for college and work." (Notice no mention of exceeding standards being part of the goal. The focus is bring all up to the minimum requirements.)
- "Created and filled new position of Director of Educational Technology."
- Talked about Carla Santorno, her work at the schools, and her development of a "focused academic plan."
- "Additional 2 million dollars to provide a six period day for all high school students."
- Lots of talk about the budget, efficiencies, and the money saved from closing 7 school buildings. Said will be recommending closing "3 or 4 additional schools later this month." (next week -- 9/18)
- School Board has "been briefed" on new school funding model to replace the weighted student formula; "retains concept of differentiated funding based on need, but ensures that all schools have the appropriate staffing level to meet the multiple and complex needs of our students."
- Listed capital project work.
- Talked about "caring for one another, building authentic relationships." Purchasing equipment to have simultaneous translation in 6 languages at community forums. Use of web-based communication tool (The Source) for improvement school/family communication.
- "Thrilled that we were awarded an $800,000" Gates grant to fund strategic work.
- Discussed the "Flight" program, working to increase school/family connections and "align academic programs K-12", which is NEA grant funded.
- "This level of achievement gives me confidence in our ability to move forward with clarity, commitment and caring to meet our goals."
Then, turned to the "work ahead...vision for students and how to achieve that."
Outlined 6 key milestones he said will be discussed more at community meetings the next two days.
- Students ready for kindergarten.
- Third graders reading on grade level.
- Seventh graders ready for algebra.
- Ninth graders ready for high school.
- Tenth graders passing WASL Math, Reading and Writing.
- Students ready for college and work.
Can you say "mediocrity?" This is a predictable list of milestones. This is not a vision --- certainly not an inspiring one. This is not a list of key strategies or areas of emphasis.
- "Leadership and accountability go hand in hand...Stable high quality leadership in schools and the central office." Expanding principal leadership academy and training for central office.
- "Rolling out customer service and school support standards..."
- "District revenue does not keep up with needs...ongoing structural challenge is due to state's failure to live up to constitutional requirement to fully fund education."
- "Reviewing every aspect of central budget to free up dollars for academic needs"
- Mentioned BEX III Levy and Operating Levy coming up.
- Spoke about work on community / family partnerships and district / business / government partnerships.