Something weird happened to me last week. Here's the story:
The District has a Performance Management Steering Committee, headed by the Superintendent, that is working on the criteria, metrics, assessments and benchmarks for performance management for students, teachers, principals, schools, and the District. You know, all of the scorecards and dashboards and such for the Strategic Plan.
The Steering Committee, in turn, has a Performance Management Working Group that serves as an advisory committee to the Steering Committee. The Working Group, made up of central office staff, representatives from SEA and PASS, and a few consultants that foundations have funded to help do this work, makes recommendations to the Steering Committee and then the Steering Committee makes the final decisions regarding the performance management work.
The Working Group is scheduled to meet for a couple hours every other Thursday through July of this year. Their work will focus on measuring and supporting school performance to help schools improve. A major part of this effort is the development of annual "school reports," which will make school achievement and improvement more transparent, both within the district and to the public, and will enable the District to provide more targeted and effective supports to each and every school.
That's all pretty straightforward, right?
Well, the performance working group asked CPPS if they would like to have a member serve on the working group providing the student family perspective. CPPS, of course, accepted.
It turns out that CPPS has their own project this year to develop a parent-created score card to measure the district’s performance on implementing the strategic plan and, basically, keeping its promises on a range of issues. So they were really interested in having some influence over how the District officially measured the progress.
I should note that CPPS has, like the Alliance, undergone some changes in leadership. And, as with the Alliance, those changes came with changes in focus and operation as well. I was contacted by a representative of CPPS with the information about the Performance Management Steering Committee, the Performance Management Working Group, and the offer to have a representative from CPPS at the table in the Working Group. The CPPS representative said that they knew that I was both interested and informed about the Strategic Plan and performance management and asked if I would serve as their representative on the Working Group. I accepted.
Great! They say. The next meeting is this afternoon.
That's when things started getting weird.
CPPS sent an email to the District saying thank you so much for the offer to have a representative from our group on the Working Group, our person will be Charlie Mas.
The District emails back - within hours - saying, whoops! Sorry, our mistake. Since there is only one teacher and only one principal on the Working Group, to keep things fair we can have only one student family member and we already have one. The student family person on the Working Group comes from the District's Schools-Families Partnership Advisory Committee. This news came just hours before the meeting was to start.
The District, in short, pulled back the invitation immediately after they heard that I was CPPS' choice. I can't say if the invitation was rescinded because it was me or if the invitation would have been rescinded regardless. Moreover, I have no grounds for presuming either to be the case.
CPPS, of course, still wants to have a representative on the Working Group. I imagine that they are working to get the invitation restored.
All I know is that it is weird.