that appeared in the PI today. From the article:
"Though the report's primary purpose was to examine how the district designs, delivers and evaluates curriculum, it was much broader in scope than previous audits, touching on such areas as school facilities, budgeting and administration."
For my money the best thing said was that site-based management swung too far and left too many schools struggling. The consultant said that there was an evolution back to more centralized control.
Among the findings included in the article:
This is nothing new and it seems sad that we paid money for this (although the woman delivering the news was very professional and clear in her remarks). This district goes from plan to plan and seems to spend more time creating plans than implementing them.
The consultant also should have set off warning bells to the Board about the assignment plan:
"It also warned that the district's school-choice system doesn't provide students with equal access to high quality schools, programs and services and highly qualified, experienced teachers.
The School Board, which has been considering changes to the student-assignment plan for months, has recognized the inequity and wants to even out school enrollments, but has been struggling to find a solution.
It's something of a chicken-and-egg debate -- can officials limit school choice and encourage students to attend neighborhood schools when not all schools are on par academically?"If we change the plan to a feeder system, it is likely to provide even less equitable access to teachers and programs. Even with the SE Initiative, can the district say it has been in place long enough to say that students in the southend are getting a fair shake in high school compared with northend schools? I would submit that the answer is no. It's not even a matter of more parent involvement, people supporting their local schools, etc. It's about whether those high schools fundamental stack up? I'm sure Michael Rice, our teacher contributor from Rainier Beach, would proudly say they do. And maybe Michael can tell us whether he thinks parents in the southend choose to go north more because of academics or safety concerns.