Not a lot of folks are signed up to speak (come on down!), but I see that six of them will address their remarks to the conditional certificate action item. I also notice that among the speakers are Don Alexander, Roscoe Bass, and Rickie Malone - all in a row. That should provide some fireworks.
This ordeal for the board will be followed by a review of the Native American Education Program that tells a very sad story. The program appears to be in near total disarray. That's not going to be a lot of laughs. Let's remember that this program was a focus of the past two audits and has also been the topic of some scathing board testimony.
Our next nugget comes with the approval of an application for a conditional certificate for one more Teach for America corps member, Daniel Calderon, who will teach bilingual education at Rainier Beach High School. I didn't even know that was a class. Interestingly, Mr. Calderon passed the West E for Bilingual Education, Elementary Education Subtest 1, Elementary Education Subtest 2, and English Language Learners. Can he teach in a high school or only in an elementary school? Can he teach in a high school but only in an bilingual program? He ain't teaching math or science, that's for sure.
The board will also introduce and vote on a resolution in support of changes to No Child Left Behind. I don't know why this has to be introduced and voted on in the same meeting, but the Board no longer has a policy against that, so why not? Why did the Board remove that the policy that restricted introduction and action on motions at the same meeting? I don't know. They never talked about it. The Board Action Report says that "Introduction and Action on the same date are recommended as in the best interest of the district." but it doesn't say why.
Among the introduction items is the (overdue) renewal of the NWEA
We do not recommend discontinuing this subscription because the District does not have another K-9 assessment system that can be readily or easily put into place to provide student results regularly in math and reading. Moreover, MAP is now part of the teacher evaluation system as defined by the collective bargaining agreement and the District does not have another assessment system that can provide the systemic and multi-year data that will be used for this purpose.The teacher evaluation is now one of the prime reasons for continuing MAP even though MAP is not designed for this purpose. The tail is now officially wagging the dog.
By the way, the MSP provides the district with student results regularly in math and reading in grades 3-10. There are other assessments that work just fine for grades K-2, 11, and 12 if we decide that we need them.
I think it is worth noting that - once again - none of the motions before the Board have any authentic community engagement done around them. The public is 0 for 10 - shut out again. This board and the district leadership have completely abandoned any effort at community engagement. They have even abandoned the illusion of it. I really like this new emphasis on openness, transparency, engagement and responsiveness. It's so much more professional and less political than the way we were neglected and excluded in the past.