Here is the presentation that will be made to the Board.
Here are some questions that the presentations makes me want to ask:
Slide 1: Why is this Part 1? How many parts will there be? What is included in each part?
Slide 3: The Slide is titled Department Functions but the divisions and groupings are odd. They are not by function. Why, for example, are Native American programs and Advanced Learning grouped with assessment and professional development? How are these part of a single function? Why are international education and ELL grouped together? Where would MTSS fit in this graphic? Isn't MTSS one of the functions of Teaching and Learning?
Slide 4: Equitable Access: Can anyone provide an example of how Equitable Access replicates quality education? What work has been done to replicate our most successful programs? Where is TOPS II? How is access to authentic, legitimate advanced learning programs equitable?
Special Education: Who is providing Special Education compliance (the first function of the department listed on the previous slide)?
Curriculum Assessment and Instruction: Where is the promised aligned curriculum for APP? How does the central administration "ensure" the delivery of instruction in classrooms? What action is taken when a deficiency is found? Where is MTSS in this support? Shouldn't it be listed here?
Slide 5: How did the Alliance for Education qualify as a Key Stakeholder? What is the criteria for membership to that group and what does it mean to be included? Why isn't the Alliance included among the "other community advocacy groups"? How are tax payers and the general public listed as both internal and external stakeholders? When did the District start to regard student families as internal stakeholders? How, exactly, are they treated as internal stakeholders?
Slide 6: Shouldn't relevant state and federal laws be listed here also? I'm thinking particularly of Title I, Title II, and IDEA.
Slide 7: How have we gone from having one Executive Director of schools in the Southeast, to having two, to now having none? How many years in the field for Zakiyyah McWilliams? Where are the program managers for Advanced Learning, Native American programs, Professional Development, and Equitable Access, the other functions listed on Slide 3? They are supposed to be part of this oversight session. Meanwhile, Special Education, REA, Executive Directors of Schools, and ELL, listed here, are supposed to be included in a separate Board Oversight session. Why are they included in this presentation? This slide has the first reference to College and Career Readiness and the first reference to Early Education. Where do they fit in the functions listed on Slide 3? Why doesn't the Org Chart match up with the Functions? Why doesn't the org chart match up with the Department Objectives? Who on this chart has responsibility for MTSS?
Slide 8: This has the first reference to Library Services. Where does Library Services fit in the functions on Slide 3, the support given on slide 4, and the org chart on slide 7? Why do elements shift in and out from slide to slide? Why don't we see all of the same elements on every slide? What is the budget for MTSS? Where does it appear on this spreadsheet?
Slide 10-12: What is the source for the Department Objectives? Who determined them? Some of them are from Board priorities for the year, but others have murkier origins. What is a Teaching and Learning Framework? Why does this slide claim that the Strategic Plan is complete? None of these measures are actual measures; they are vague goals. What are the metrics and benchmarks? Why don't the measures and the targets match? Isn't the IB program at Rainier Beach a curricular focus (as defined by policy 2200) and therefore not a district-level concern? Isn't Cleveland STEM a "rigorous college-level program" accessible to the southeast? What other regions do not have access to a "rigorous college-level program" or is it only the Southeast? Does every other comprehensive high school except Rainier Beach offer a rigorous college-level program? Is this an academic assurance? Are we committed to providing equitable access to this? Why isn't the implementation of MTSS a Department Objective?
Slide 13: Why aren't the contracts with tutoring companies listed here?
Slide 15: Why does this slide - number 15 - have the first mention of MTSS? If it is a major program then why isn't it in the org chart, the budget, the list of objectives, or the list of department functions?
Slide 16: What are program audits? When has there ever been a program audit? Where is the most recent audit of the Spectrum program, for example? Where is the most recent audit of our Special Education programs? Are there any audits of our math programs? Of our alternative programs? Of any programs? Are there any efforts whatsoever - through audits or otherwise - to determine the quality or efficacy of any of our programs? Let's remember that on slide 18 you list "Lack of program evaluation" as a weakness. How can we include program audits as an internal control on this slide and then, two slides later, acknowledge that we have no program evaluation? Board Policy 2090 requires the district to use a variety of assessment processes to determine the effectiveness of the instructional programs. How is this done? How do "training and interactions with other districts and organizations" constitute an internal control? The Native American Advisory Committee is listed as an internal control. What controlling authority do they have?
Slide 18: "Lack of program evaluation" is listed as a weakness. How do you intend to address this? How is the District fulfilling the requirement of Policy 2090 to assess the the effectiveness of our instructional programs? Couldn't the "Content area specialists with a high level of expertise" perform the evaluations? How can you identify this as a weakness, yet claim to have an "existing capacity for rigorous analysis of program effectiveness" as an opportunity? What is the existing capacity? "Core curricular and pedagogical expectations are not consistently defined and applied" is also identified as a weakness. Isn't this the principal's job? How is this a central administration duty? The "Lack of accountability structures to ensure fidelity of implementation" is listed as a threat, but to what extent are we seeking fidelity of implementation? How is this reconciled with academic freedom or even simply allowing teachers the necessary opportunity to innovate, improvise, and differentiate? Why is the collective bargaining agreement listed as both an opportunity and a threat? What other competing priorities in the district can trump our core mission of teaching and learning? Why are they allowed to take priority over academics?
Slide 19: The high school graduation rate represents a success. The other two measures do not.
Slide 24: There are only two goals described on the following slides, Implementation of CCSS and Academic Assurances. What happened to all of the other goals?
Slides 24-28: How can we be sure that the standards are treated as a floor rather than a ceiling? Why isn't Advanced Learning among the persons responsible along with ELL and Special Education on slides 27 and 28?