No one, not even Mr. Manhas, is blind to the dysfunction in Seattle Public Schools. Unfortunately, no one, particularly Mr. Manhas, has done much to address it. Perhaps they don't have any ideas about how to address it.
Well, I'm all about solutions. It's not enough to complain; one must also offer remedies. You may not think these remedies are any good; in which case I welcome opportunities for improvement. I don't know if anyone in a position to do so can or will take these ideas forward, but I will offer them anyway. Let no one suggest that these problems can never be solved.
IDEA #2 Gap Closing Plan.
I have been active in Seattle School District issues for about six years. For all that time the District's stated number one goal and priority has been to close the academic achievement gap by bringing every student up to Standards. And for all that time, the District has made rather poor progress towards that goal. I suspect that the progress has not been very good because for all that time the District has never developed or implemented a plan to achieve that goal.
This is either true, grim dysfunction or it is the most callous disingenuous lying I ever hope to see. What sort of organization goes on and on about how achieving X is their primary goal and priority, mentioning it at every possible opportunity, yet, somehow, never actually implements a plan to achieve X? Never even writes a plan to achieve X? Never even discusses a plan to achieve X? That defies belief.
So, I suggest that the Board direct the Superintendent to develop, implement, monitor and, as necessary, revise a plan to close the academic achievement gap by bringing every student up to Standard. This plan must be complete with action steps, rationales, metrics, assessments, benchmarks, and contingency plans.
Kinda weird that no one has ever done this, isn't it? Weird isn't the word, the word is dysfunctional.
So, what do you think? Would this innovation help lead to achieving our goal of closing the academic achievement gap by bringing every student up to Standard? Would it be worth the time, cost and effort? Could this idea be improved? Is there a better way to accomplish the same ends?