Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Transition Plan Voted on Tonight

So, for the first time in many years, I did not manage to make the Speakers list for the Board meeting. And, I was 13th on the waitlist (no thanks). That says to me that many, many people wanted to speak tonight because it's not usually hard at all to get on the list.

I had planned to crunch in STEM, the BTA levy and the Transition Plan but the first two can wait.

This is a teachable moment for all you newer and younger parents. It's something that all the blogging in the world by Charlie or myself could never teach.

And that would be, this is how this district and the Board work. Check this out.

The district unveils a plan with - you guessed it - a very tight timeline that CANNOT be changed. The Board has no advance look at the work and so, when it is presented, is trying to read it, listen to a presentation and think of questions....all at once. (I know I said this before but it bears repeating.) Then, the staff takes the Board's queries and comments into consideration...for maybe 5 minutes. (Or maybe that's just what it looks like; I'd give Tracy Libros a lot more credit.) Then they come back with a slightly different plan (or a thousand reasons why they can't change what the Board wants changed and the Board accepts that with a shrug and a nod).

Now this slightly different plan may not contain anything that the Board suggested but it might have new things the staff wants. But yes, they want the Board to still vote on it that night. Parents and community may have no advance knowledge of it but that seems to matter little to either the Board or the staff.

I don't even have to make a prediction about the Transition Plan. I KNOW the Board will vote it in tonight. I would love, love, love to have egg on my face tomorrow about that statement but I won't. Because NO Board ever, ever stands up for promises made to parents. NO Board says, in unison to staff, "Wait a minute, there's new planning in here that we have not acknowledged or shown to parents and community. This plan will have to wait." They won't.

When I was grappling with the BTA levy and how to explain myself, my brilliant husband of 26 years (now I know why I married him) said, "Well, isn't it about trust? You don't trust the district is doing the right thing with facilities?" He's right; I don't trust the district. I don't trust they are doing the right thing, I don't trust that they have sussed out the best thing to do, I don't trust that the Board will do due diligence AND follow thru on holding the staff accountable.

So, tonight when you see the Board vote through the Transition Plan with changes that have not been even announced to parents throughout the district, keep in mind - lesson learned.

And, if this is your first experience with this kind of betrayal of trust by this district, remember. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Don't get fooled again.

51 comments:

Central Mom said...

People. Go to the SAP transition part of the SPS site: http://www.seattleschools.org/area/
implementation/index.dxml

The transition plan you see here is NOT the one Staff is bringing to a vote tonight. Even some Board members did not realize this.

I repeat myself, but...This. Is. Unacceptable.

How many parents realize, the day after Gov. G launches a plan for better early childhood education, that Staff has put 1/2-day K on the plate of possibilities for too-full schools.

How many families (esp K-8 families) realize the 5-year grandfathering of transportation is down to 2 years.

Look, maybe there is solid reasoning behind these items, but how can anyone know if there is NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION.

Mum o 2 said...

I have received an email from someone who attended a meeting with Sherry Carr. In this meeting it was announced that in the 2010-11 year Montessori programs are basically being treated like Option Schools (what used to be called Alternative Schools) and siblings will have first priority for Montessori seats. So if you have an out-of-area incoming sibling for a school with Montessori than your best chance to get into the school is to select the Montessori program. Attendance Area kids will be assigned to Contemporary unless they request Montessori during Open Enrollment. Then they will be BEHIND the out-of-area siblings in priority for the Montessori program.

seattle citizen said...

Speaking of not getting fooled again, to the tune of "Won't Get Fooled Again" (with apologies to Pete Townshend and the Who):

We'll be fighting in the schools
With our children all so cool
And the subjects they all studied will be gone
And admin who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the funding sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new board “oversight”
Take a bow for the new blood’s need to bite
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up our children and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again

Change it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from last fall that's all
But the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

I'll tip my hat to the new board “oversight”
Take a bow for the new blood’s need to bite
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up our children and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

I'll move myself and the children aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Do ya?

There's nothing in the schools
Looks any different or too new
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And pedagogy on the left
Is now pedagogy on the right
But the alignments have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the board's "oversight"
Take a bow for the new blood's need to bite
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up our children and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Central Mom said...

Oh and this is REALLY RICH.

All the program placement info is now posted....with CONFIDENTIAL written on every single page.

SPS communications YOU NEED HELP

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Thanks Seattle Citizen for a bit of comic relief.

Wouldn't you love to see a group tperform this at the Board Meeting?!

Central Mom said...

Melissa...get that new thread going. (But people, don't lose track of this one.)

No alt programs anywhere but Old Hay.

No International Schools (yet) at the new schools.

And here's a fun one for TOPS: Take out the before/after school care at a regional draw school (TOPS) to put in a preschool DHH program. Love the DHH program, but, ummm, aren't regional draw schools the very ones that most need before/after school care for scattered families? The doc doesn't even identify the room correctly. Calls it Community Preschool. TOPS doesn't have a preschool. Where is that Staff-generated Functional Capacity worksheet?

Ranting.

Karrie said...

Central Mom,

Can you please post the link or path on where you found the program placement info? Thanks!

This whole thing is out of control.

seattle citizen said...

I'll call Pete and Roger and see if they're available tonight, Solvay

Central Mom said...

Go to this page, which is way down within the Board site, NOT the SAP site. Wait, before you go there, fire off a note to the Board and Staff about the complete ridiculousness of how this info is getting out...

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/
board/09-10agendas/012010
agenda/nsaptransitionreport.pdf

You'll see a bunch of links. That's where everything is hidden. The cut in transportation. The program placement stuff. TONS of info and very little of it is going to make the community happy.

Central Mom said...

Again, people, this is what Melissa is saying.

EVERYTHING is posted (in a hidden place) in support of the Transition Plan vote. The day of the meeting. In passing the Transition Plan in effect the board is signing off on all of this program placement stuff. What time is it right now? 12:30? That gives the public 5.5 hours to discover it, think about it, and comment to the Board.

If people are not screaming now, then, as Melissa says, "When"???

Karrie said...

Central Mom,
thank you - I did find it buried in links within links in tonight's agenda.

Ridiculous. All of it.

yumpears said...

Central Mom - thanks for the links. All sorts of interesting items attached to the agenda.

I notice on the Personnel Report that is up for approval they have hired a new HR, Employee Performance Consultant. I thought money was tight?

And that was on the first link I followed...I am almost afraid to keep going...

TechyMom said...

"Do not recommend creating a Spectrum program at Madrona K-8 Locating the Spectrum program at Madrona K-8 is not consistent with the goal of locating services closest to where students live."

Because Muir, at the very south end of the Washington Service Area is closer to where more students in the service area live? Huh?

Seattle said...

I just emailed my school principal to make sure he was aware of all the new changes.

I have also emailed all the board members several times over the last week. The only response I got was from Kay Smith-Blum and all she said was, "Could use your voice tomorrow night. -ksb"

I might be wrong, but is the board meeting tonight supposed to be on a local TV channel? If so, can someone tell me what time and what channel? I wish I could make it to the meeting, but I have prior commitments that have been set up for months.

ArchStanton said...

I particularly like how this "confidential" document:
http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/012010agenda/nsaptransitionplacementassurances.pdf
is titled, "Program Placement and Academic Assurances". Inside it labels lots of recommendations, but doesn't identify any assurances. I guess it's good if they don't make any promises they can't keep for a change.

seattle citizen said...

Meeting is televised live tonight at 6:00.

Comcast channel isone of the education channels, I think it's...28?

dan dempsey said...

Live TV at 6 PM:

Seattle School Board Meeting
broadcast on SPS-TV Channel 26 *


*cable channel 26 in the greater Seattle area, Comcast cable system, and channel 75 on Millennium Cable.

dan dempsey said...

If you do not like a school board action, file an appeal within 30 days in Superior court.

If you do it yourself pro se,
it won't cost much...
about $200

The HS Math Lawsuit with good legal representation was more like $10,000.
The hearing is now on Jan 26th... unless the district postpones again.

Keepin'On said...

Being more cynical than Melissa, I would just say- why do any of you think the district powers that be CARE what you think? They don't. They can do what they want. What are you going to do - all go to private school in protest? There's no room. They have us where they want us, and whatever they say goes. Now, to be fair, some things they do are good. Many schools do a fabulous job. Many programs they have allowed in are great. Most people I have encountered who work at the district are very pleasant and helpful.

But don't think for a minute that there is any way to stop this plan. Except voting down the BTA levy.

Seattle said...

I am hopeful Kay Smith-Blum will at least try and speak up tonight about all the logistical nightmares. She just sent me a response when I asked her to please voice all her concerns about the NSAP:

"I will – but up hill battle am afraid." - ksb

SPSMom said...

The following is the list of schools that are considered Group 3 - most significant capacity challenges:

"Group 3 schools (capacity challenges) are those where, based on the classroom analysis, roll-up of current students, and preliminary projections, we already anticipate significant capacity challenges. Schools included in this group need additional capacity to accommodate anticipated enrollment for 2010-11 even before considering adding non-attendance area K siblings."

Wing Luke
Sanislo
West Seattle Elementary
Olympic View
Wedgwood
Catharine Blaine K-8
Maple
Stevens
Broadview-Thomson K-8
Greenwood


This is probably list the list of "some schools" that may need to eliminate full day K for next year. Of course this all begs the question what happens in first grade?

dj said...

Can I ask a stupid question. Why are there "capacity challenges" at any schools? I thought the whole point of drawing the assignment area lines was to right-size the schools, which -- while there might be issues in a few years as parents shuffle houses and projections prove worng -- should be at least (you would think) relatively accurate for now.

I mean, I could understand September rolling around and schools discovering that district projections were off. But what information about "capacity challenges" does the district have now that it didn't have in November? Or were the lines drawn knowing that some schools couldn't fit the kids in the assignment area? Because . . . ok, I'll stop now.

Seattle said...

dj - EXACTLY!!

It is because of these "capacity challenges" and all the questions you have raised that I think the district needs to slow down and reevaluate the data they used to draw the new maps.

Melissa Westbrook said...

A new HR hire? I was just told by a board member about how bad the budget next year is going to be and they have yet ANOTHER administrator?

Putting out a "confidential" draft document?

The same board member told me that "it was just one in a list of items" to eliminate all day K at some schools and might not necessarily happen. BUT, BUT what if you sign up for full-day K and then get told, no go? What then?

The capacity challenge is the K sibs. They allegedly sized these schools to fit the attendance area (plus a few open seats for anyone who moves in) but the issue is that these schools have students with incoming sibs. Where to put everyone is the capacity issue.

We all have an opinion on how that should go. But at this point, that's NOT the point. Tonight is the point of voting how to handle this situation and other transitional issues and the staff just threw in a couple of more things.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

For those of you who said "petition", "wait for the next Board election", "go speak at Board meetings", my answer is "vote". There is nothing else in the world that gets an elected official's attention like a vote.

I was just at a meeting yesterday where the head of the Seattle Council of the PTSA said that there is a lot of anger out there from parents directed at the district and the Board. This is someone who goes all around the district on a weekly basis so she should know.

You hear it here and it's building. The district's answer - always - is to forge blindly ahead and wait out the storm. (I say blindly because they rarely think through plans.) And guess what? It works for them. Parents get mad at Board meetings, send angry e-mails and then just go back to their schools, fuming. And that's it. Well, don't let that be it.

Fight the powers that be.

dj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dj said...

Melissa, I don't think that's right. What SPSMom posted was:

Schools included in this group need additional capacity to accommodate anticipated enrollment for 2010-11 even before considering adding non-attendance area K siblings."

So it sounds like the capacity issues are based on ordinary attendance-area kindergarten sibs. Which shouldn't be happening.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well then, even worse!

Luz said...

dj's interpretation is what the memorandum establishes, there is not enough capacity to accommodate incoming kindergarteners within the attendance area. Forget about siblings!
How could they have gotten it so wrong? I mean TEN schools!?!

Lori said...

dj and others, I suspect that capacity issues at Wedgwood, for example, have to do with the fact that they already created some large bubbles in the last few years that are now working their way thru the school. We've been "oversubscribed" in the NE for a few years now, and each school has had to add K classes in the recent past. If you consistently enroll more kindergartners relative to how many 5th graders leave, sooner or later, you're going to run out of space.

Last year, Wedgwood only had room for 2 Kindergarten classes, but I believe that they had had 4 K classes the year before. Some parents who lived very close to the school were surprised to get sent somewhere else. People generally expected them to have the same number of K classes that they'd always had.

So I'm guessing the "new" Wedgwood area is right-sized for the number of K classes it *used* to be able to accommodate. Only it can't accommodate them this fall because those rooms are needed for 2nd and 3rd graders.

I guess the district sees the current bubble as a temporary problem, and when our current crop of 1st and 2nd graders leave for middle school, the areas will finally be "right-sized."

Seattle said...

I think Luz has it right, too. I read the 26 page document and that is how I interpreted it. There are already capacity issues with no grandfathering of siblings involved in **at least** 10 schools, possibly mroe. Outrageous!

Seattle said...

Has everyone seen the 6 (we are up to 6 now) amendments that are being brought forward by the board members? Here are a few samples from Patu:

"I move that the implementation of other aspects of the new student assignment plan and the transition plan be delayed until the district provides resources for rigorous course offerings in all southeast area schools, to be measured by comparison to the academic programs and results at other schools throughout the city."

"I move that siblings not be assigned to different schools, if their family’s preference is that the siblings attend the same school, regardless of any attendance area or other student assignment plan considerations, as long as the preferred school can meet the siblings’ needs."

Seattle said...

Here is the new agenda.

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/012010agenda/012010agenda.pdf

Keepin'On said...

That's a whole lotta push back from Director Patu and also Smith Blum. Good for them.

Dorothy said...

Is Meg Diaz scheduled to speak? She just posted this:

http://docs.google.com/present/view?id=0AVRHgOkrxGL8ZGhta2I4cXJfNTBjYjh0ajRoaA&hl=en

Seattle said...

I believe Meg is scheduled to speak. She is #4 on the list.

Shannon said...

Well, for all the significant issues outlined the only one I have been hearing about at the meeting is the TOPS bussing plan. Sigh. I mean, its all very important and all but there are other points that seem vital to make.

Maureen said...

I was there at the very beginning and two speakers ceded their time to Madrona students who wanted to say they were unhappy about their principal being reassigned. There were also at least two speakers about sibling grandfathering. Oh! and Meg Diaz gave one more excellent presentation calling out the District on funding STEM (Especially with NTN whose schools apparently have a horrible academic record). She encouraged them to take the time to do it right and not to redirect resources to one school from all of the others.

I had to leave after about eight speakers and I don't have cable--so won't know what else happens unless someone posts it here (pleeeeaase...!)

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

Bob Vaughn talked about program placement for advanced learning. They want to add Spectrum at Arbor heights, Hawthorne, BF Day and Maddison middle school.

NEW ALOs will be introduced at Brighton, Dunlap Emerson and Van Asselt.

[The reason these schools were chosen was not because they had a higher distribution of high achieving students in the South End but in order to make these schools "a little bit more special" - ie. as a carrot to the neighborhood model].

Spectrum will be changed to ALO at Leschi, North Beach and West SEattle Elementary (but current Spectrum students at these schools keep their Spectrum eligibility.) The goal is said to be to keep some access to AL but "build up Spectrum programs that are comparable to programs that we have now at Lafayette, Whitier, Wedgwood and View Ridge in other regions of the city".

Shannon said...

Thornton Creek graduates for 2010/11 get access to Salmon Bay without transportation.

JSIS graduates get access to Hamilton International School for a year even if they are out of zone.

South Shore gets a geographic zone tiebreaker for 2010/11.

Lots of debate on the number of years bus transportation should be grandfathered but it seems to be deferred to "discuss a year from now." There was a lot of unhappiness about the 2 years vs 5 years and that the savings did not seem to justify the cost to families.

Maureen said...

Thanks Shannon!

Seattle said...

The board voted 6-1 on the transition plan. Patu voted against it. The board seemed to acknowledge that they didn't gather their data correctly for this first year transition. They are seeming to "promise" to do better data gathering for the next transition year, Fall 2011. However, I believe at that point, most of the grandfathering of siblings issues will be irrelevant. Do they think we will start our incoming child at one school, establish ties, and then want to move them again to another school when they readdress the issue in one year?

I feel like the school board is merely hoping all of us angry parents will just go away. I am really saddened that the school board dealt with this initial transition plan in such a poor manner. I feel like they were so focused on drawing boundary maps (which are already outdated since there are huge capacity issues at over 10 schools already) that they did not give the focus they needed to to the transition plan.

Many parents brought up many of these issues before the maps were adopted, but they kept shoving us aside saying they would deal with that in the transition plan. Did they fulfill their promise? NO! They are just pushing it aside again saying they will address it again in one year. They don't seem to really care about what our students are facing NOW. They are too removed from the schools. They did not seek public input well enough or for a long enough duration for this initial transition. To already have major capacity challenges at schools before we even look at the grandfathering of incoming siblings just seems like incredibly poor planning on the part of the district.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie, Chris Jackins, and I were at the work session, which started at 4 PM. It dealt with performance management and instructional philosophy. My belief that these folks have little idea of how to positively impact student achievement was reinforced during the 90 minute session.

#1. More top down direction and time spent monitoring subordinates compliance with centralized mandates is pointless and a waste of resources....... because the leaders fail to recognize what structure, materials, and practices actually bring about increased achievement. For the majority of this group, it seems that "Broad Practices" = "Best Practices".

#2. Instructional Philosophy largely focuses on meaningless jargon unlikely to have any effect. Until the philosophy becomes based on doing what works and ceasing to emphasize practices that don't work the rest is pointless jargon wrangling. It is quite clear that No one in a leadership position likely has a copy of John Hattie's "Visible Learning" and if they do they are not taking it seriously.

#3. The district bases actions on what they wish to do NOT what has been "scientifically analyzed" as very likely to produce improvement.

==================
#3 was once again very evident during the Cleveland STEM sales pitch to the board for the $800,000 contract for New Technology Network services.

Happy talk substitutes for data on achievement. Strings of anecdotes trump reality.

This school is going to be successful for lots of reasons given in the presentation.
#1 kids are going to do Calculus (the UW will be helping us)
{WOW!!! short memory on the last three year UW math iniative at Cleveland}
#2 Project based learning will be used with lots of small groups and inquiry learning. {PBL effect size is 0.15, inquiry based learning = 0.31 :: while mastery learning = 0.61, and direction instruction = 0.59}

The good news is I got Michael Tolley to look at Visible Learning and he wrote down the title.

============
Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary the presenters state that all 41 New Tech Network schools are successful.

Yup... "Happy Talk" trumps relevant data ... when you want to buy an $800,000 lemon.

Of the three NTN demonstration schools in CA, New Tech Sacramento has almost the same demographics as Seattle. (NT Sac = 45% poverty and 16% ELL in 2008) Data from the last six years shows a catastrophic math failure and it is getting worse. This is a STEM emphasis school and in End of Course testing in 2009 of 50 kids in Algebra II:
Advanced 0
Proficient 1 = 2%

Basic 2 = 4%
Below Basic 18 = 36%
Far Below Basic 29 = 58%


to be continued ...

dan dempsey said...

Chris Jackins in his presentation at the board meeting noted that the Student Assignment Plan likely violates a few provisions in the WACs and RCWs as it furthers racial and economic imbalances in schools.

Every school will become a "Quality School" idea has now faded so far it does not even get lip service. This is now a plan for separate and unequal schools. It is all about boundary line adjustments and grandfathering. There is not even a word said about how "Quality Schools" will be created.

Hey the fact "School Quality" is not even mentioned means the district did learn something from the SE Initiative.

Charlie Mas said...

I watched the beginning of the meeting on television at home and then went down there to see the rest of it first hand.

Some quick notes.

First, Betty Patu is all heart. While some heart is good and necessary, some head and some guts are needed as well. Her two amendments were unintelligible messes. Even when she tried to explain them she relied on the listeners' ability to infer her meaning more than her ability to provide it. Y'know? The other Board members spoke very patronizingly to her, praising her sentiment and heart.

Second, she actually submitted three amendments, but it is obvious that she did not write the third one, to make the Aki Kurose service area the geographic zone for South Shore this year. It's obvious that she didn't write it because the prose style is so different from her other two and, in later discussion, she disavowed authorship of it, saying that she had written two amendments. So that's a little creepy. If she didn't write it then who did? If it was another Board member then why didn't they submit it? Was it a member of the staff? Was it someone from the New School Foundation?

Third, Peter Maier is such a schmuck. His primary reason for rejecting Director Smith-Blum's amendment to extend the transportation grandfathering for students at K-8s was that it didn't come with vetted data. How could it when it was a response to a change made in the transition plan just two business days ago? Where is the vetted data for the change? The hilarious thing, of course, is that it did come with data. Director Smith-Blum had an analysis by Transportation that showed, if done in concert with other changes, it wouldn't cost anything. So there was data, but it wasn't vetted because time didn't allow for the vetting. So he arbitrarily created an impossible standard as an invented reason to vote against the amendment. He also kept talking about being willing to adopt amendments so long as they were narrowly defined and brief in duration. Is that because we wouldn't want to do anything that helped a lot of students and families for an extended period? What is the virtue of helping only small groups of people for a short time?

Four. Brilliant work by Director Smith-Blum to respond to the change in the transportation grandfathering for K-8s. She either saw the change or was made aware of it by constituents. Either way it is good. She got right on it and requested an analysis from Transportation. She presented a well-written amendment and provided data from staff on the fiscal impact. She provided exceptionally good rationale for the amendment. She even called Director Maier on his impossible standard. She did fabulously well. If anyone had any doubts about her I hope they can find assurance from her performance last night.

Five, speaking of assurance, there was some talk last night about "academic assurances". I never saw it actually defined, but it sounds like the District is going to make some baseline assurances about what every school will have and do. I will be very interested in hearing more about this. I wonder, of course, if it will be enforceable or enforced. What recourse will a student or family have if the academic assurances - whatever they are - are not met?

One other thing. There was a lot of talk about the potential savings from different transportation schemes, but no one ever said if those transportation savings were gross or net. Were those the savings before or after the state reimbursement?

Chris said...

Nice post again, Charlie. I got to watch about 15 minutes of the board meeting but I was treated to two instances of staff sniping at new board members: Enfield being snarky about discussions Patu had missed and Princess Sharif dissing Smith-Blum big time.

I've already complained about all the time I have to waste watching the board members brown-nose the staff, so it galls me to see not even politeness returned...

SPSMom said...

Anybody but me cringe everytime Dr. Vaughan used the word "special?"

reader said...

Dr. Vaughan is a mirror... anything you do, you see him reflecting it. You want something, he wants something. Your kid needs something, he says yes your kid needs something. You think something is a good idea, he does too.

Charlie Mas said...

Other random notes.

Director Patu went on for a bit about how she entered the discussion of the new student assignment plan at the tail end and didn't know much, if anything, about it. So, for anyone who wondered how much she was paying attention to school district issues for the past year prior to being elected, the answer is: "Not at all."

Director DeBell has discovered alternative schools. While I can carp about how it took him four years to do it, I'm just happy that he has. Director DeBell continues to show real growth. He also voted in favor of Director Smith-Blum's amendment to extend transportation grandfathering to five years for K-8s.

I'm starting to see some realization on the part of Board members that one way to encourage people to choose a school is to pour some sugar on it. The staff still wants to push people from building to building, but the Board is starting to see the benefits of pulling people from building to building. So, for example, Director Carr mentioned that while there would be costs associated with making McDonald and Sand Point more appealing, there are also costs associated with the overcrowding at Bryant and View Ridge. Dr. Vaughan definittely sees advanced learning programs as a means for attracting families to schoools.

Dr. Vaughan also made reference a couple times to the idea that the new ALOs shouldn't just be "words on paper" but an actual program. Well, at least he has acknowledged the problem. But who will confirm that these programs are more than just words on paper? Who will certify the reality and effectiveness of these programs? Not him. It's his job, but he has never done it. To be fair, I'm not sure that he has the staff to conduct the review and I know that he doesn't have the authority to de-certify a program.

Polonius said...

I worked in the District's main office for just under a year - several years ago. Upon leaving for another job, I stated: I will never vote in an SPS school levy again. Everything you are saying is true about how the system works between the Board and staff/administration. It's painful. And it warrants the very lack of trust that we give it. How do we make it better?

dan dempsey said...

I sure wish Dr. Vaughn would reflect those PSAT scores he has been sitting on for over a year.