Then there will be quite an interesting event at 5 p.m. which is a parent appeal on the use of a textbook. I myself have never seen this (I know it has happened before but I've never been to an actual hearing). Each party (district and staff) each get 10 minutes and then 10 minutes for Board review and determination. (The Board review on the website consists of the Board policy. What is interesting about the policy is that it states there should be an orderly process for appeal but then doesn't name one OR name an outcome should the district lose its case.)
Then the Board will adjourn for 30 minutes and all the usual suspects will file into the Board room for what should be an interesting (although predictable) meeting. There is supposed to be a video presentation by students from Ballard but I don't see that on the agenda anymore. As I mentioned elsewhere, I am next to last on the speakers list. I'm not posting my remarks yet because I don't want to give anyone a heads up. (Although it shouldn't be a mystery what I might say although I am going to be pretty hard on the Board and rightly so.)
I always like to make a predication how long it will take for the district to actually get to any real business. It's incredible but somehow the first page of the agenda seems to take at least an hour and a half to two hours. I still think that any staff presentations should come at the end because it's a long time for people to wait to hear a vote outcome.
I'd clock the TFA vote at about 8:30-9:00 p.m.
Again, why not TFA?
- tried it 16 years ago - didn't work then
- TFA is not cost neutral (whether the donor pays the TFA fee or not - by the way, the average TFA fee is $1500 but we are paying $4,000). We will be paying for overhead as well as mentor teacher time especially for Special Ed. Interesting that Special Ed parents don't feel their children get enough as it is but now the qualified Special Ed teachers will have to teach AND watch over someone else's classroom.
- Don Kennedy, COO, at yesterday's Operations Committee meeting complained to the Board members that staff was feeling the strain of having to work on too many new initiatives. How does bringing on TFA work help?
- We have a brand-new teachers contract with incentives for good teachers and supports for struggling teachers. How about giving that a year or two to work with the teachers we already have?
- No teacher shortage with plenty of unemployed qualified teachers around. Why import more?
- TFA is a lot like charter schools; a few good, a few bad and a lot of in-between. So out of 20-25 TFA recruits we might get 3 (?) good ones. Yes, that's really going to close the achievement gap.
NO PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT. It's wrong, it's unfair and it's disrespectful.
It shows that the district and the Board don't really believe in TFA because they don't have the courage of their convictions to put it out there for public discussion about who is teaching in our classrooms. We were expected to vote for a levy to support the great (and supposedly historic) teachers contract; that's the level of public engagement they like (and want). But actually sitting in a room and explaining, with data, remarks like "best and brightest", well, that's a little too scary for them.