The District has been promising/threatening an Alternative School audit/review/inventory since the start of the Strategic Plan.
Since that time, and in the absence of any audit or review, the District has
Closed two alternative schools
- The African-American Academy
- Summit K-12
Moved three alternative schools
- The NOVA Project
- The Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center
Created three alternative schools
- Queen Anne Elementary
- Jane Addams K-8
- STEM at Cleveland
Determined that special programs are not alternative
- language immersion
Suspended the Alternative Education Policy C54.00
And is threatening to close two more alternative schools:
- AS #1
- Middle College
A whole lot of decisions about alternative education have already moved forward in the absence of the data that would come from this review. More decisions are pending.
The Alternative Education Review was supposed to happen last year but didn't. When it was suggested that it wouldn't happen this year either, Director Martin-Morris became indignant (he's doing that a lot lately), and insisted that he was committed to the review being done this fall.
He keeps using that word. I don't think it means what he thinks it means.
Director Martin-Morris, as the chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee, is the one person most responsible for making this review happen. He is the person who promised it. He is the person who must accept the blame for the failure.
Here is a link to the agenda for today's canceled Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee meeting. I can't help wondering if the Alternative Education Review hasn't been re-titled "Schools of Innovation Review". Well, I guess it's good that they were at least going to talk about it, but Director Martin-Morris told us that the review would be done in the fall, not discussed in the fall. Can this review really be done before the Winter Break starts on December 17? That's about three weeks from now.
I don't think that the District can get this thing up and off the ground in three weeks, particularly now that the C & I meeting is canceled, and particularly if they are going to expand the scope to include all "Schools of Innovation", such as Schmitz Park and North Beach, which are using innovative math materials, all of the international schools, all of the Montessori programs, all of the A.L.O. programs, all of the schools using any non-standard instruction. Schools of Innovation is a MUCH larger category than the alternatives. They can't set the scope of the review, find an agency to conduct it, and get those folks into the schools in the three weeks remaining before Winter Break. This review will not happen this fall. That promise is broken.