Sunday, June 16, 2013

Strategic Plan

The revised Strategic Plan for Seattle Public Schools is scheduled for introduction at the Board meeting on June 19 and for a vote at the Board meeting on July 3.

You can read it here.

14 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

First is the statement of Mission, Vision, and Core Beliefs. We're not doing a good job there. A lot of stuff happens which is contrary to those core beliefs.

From page 4:
"As we implement this plan, we will hold regular 'check ins' with the community, staff and Board to monitor whether our strategies and initiatives are moving us toward our goals, or whether we need to amend certain elements to course correct."

I wonder how long they will actually conduct those regular check-ins? Last time it didn't even last a year.

Jon said...

The problem I have with the strategic plan is the unprioritized list of metrics starting on page 13.

There are over 30 metrics, with measures like % of schools aligned to CSS and % of teachers completing cultural competency course put at the same priority as increasing % of students graduating who meet standards for going to college.

Really, the only metrics that matter are increasing test scores and graduation rates. All these other metrics are not goals. At best, they are possibly means to reach the goal of increasing test scores and graduation rates.

It's a poor plan that gives no sense of priorities. A plan like this is meaningless in terms of direction and accountability, but it will allow them to talk about the metrics that increase over the next few years, ignore the ones that drop, and declare success no matter what happens. That is not what the Board should want.

The plan should be much shorter, much more tightly prioritized, and much more focused on the Washington state measures of academic performance of Seattle Public Schools.

Charlie Mas said...

Jon, I admire your focus on academic performance. While there is no specifically referenced prioritization for the goals, I'm pretty sure that the district leadership shares your view that increasing graduation rates and the pass rates on state tests is the real goal. These other measures are milestones on the road to that end.

Disgusted said...

Finding reliance on philanthropic dollars disturbing. Many implications around philantropic dollars.

What? said...

Loks like the district wants to cut popular programs. My guess: language immersion. What do others think?

Melissa Westbrook said...

What?, not if DeBell has anything to do with it. He is on LI like a duck on a bug and I can't figure out why this rises to the top of anyone's agenda.

What? said...

Melissa,

The Strategic Plan indicates elimination of popular programs. Your thoughts? If not language immersion, than what?

Charlie Mas said...

Language immersion programs will be expanded. They will be converted to option schools and there will be new sites.

The popular programs that's closing is Spectrum. It will simply go away when advanced learning is re-done as a manifestation of MTSS.

MTSS has just three tiers: Tier I is the regular curriculum. Tier II is a modified curriculum delivered in the general education classroom (like ALO). Tier III is a specialized program (like APP). What's missing here is Spectrum.

Anonymous said...

SPECTRUM PARENTS -- get on it now!!! Band across schools, across regions, and mount a full-court press to let the District staff and Board Directors know IT IS NOT OKAY TO UNDERSERVE your students. The primary reason for school is school, education, and your kids like all kids are equally deserving. Your program was serving your kids, they're dismantling it in favor of the mythical differentiation, so provide that feedback to the district as a unified voice. Please, before it's completely too late, the ship hasn't sunk yet, although it has left the dock

Anonymous said...

--meant to sign as "spectrum dad" above

Anonymous said...

Moderators, can you start a thread "spectrum"? You don't have to put any news on it, but we spectrum parents need a forum to connect pronto in order to get in front of the very last nail on the spectrum coffin.
Pretty please?
Timing is absolutely urgent. From Charlie's comments, looks like they are going to do away with it entirely. Differentiation doesn't happen, so it doesn't work.
Please, all children in Seattle schools deserve education, and that includes not just those hampered by physical or mental handicaps, or cultural or language barriers, but everyone, absolutely everyone, including those students who can perform at higher levels. But, those seem to not be the ones this district cares about. The floor is truly the ceiling. They don't care how fast you can run, just if you can get to the finish line. They don't really care if you're ready for the next level of challenge. It's always all rhetoric, no delivery. Spectrum has worked for my family, and can work for all spectrum families and kids. It's just that right now, it is in the crosshairs, and it's not about the kids. And it should be about the kids!
-spectrum dad

Anonymous said...

Under Goal 1 (Ensure Educational Excellence & Equity for Every Student) Strategy 1 (Challenge and support all students by providing equitable access to a rigorous and relevant curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards and 21st Century skills), the first initiative/objective reads "Implement academic assurances in all schools for all students across the district (e.g. Arts, Physical Education, English Language Learners (ELL), Special Education, and Highly Capable services)."

Can anyone clarify what they mean by "in all schools" and "for all students"? I doubt they really mean these will all be housed in all schools, and certainly not all students will qualify for all these anyway. For things like ELL, SPED or Highly Capable services, perhaps it simply means that all those who qualify will be able to access these somewhere? If so, how is this any different than the current status?

HIMSmom

Charlie Mas said...

HIMSmom, please allow me to translate.

What they mean by "Academic Assurances" is that all schools will offer the state required amount of general education, including art, music, and PE - a standard which a lot of schools are not meeting right now - and that all students with special needs will have access to those services.

For ELL and most SpEd students and academically advanced students this means that the services will be available either in their attendance area school or in a nearby school.

For BOC, low incidence SpEd, and APP this means that there will be a program accessible for them either in their middle school service area or in an adjacent one with transportation provided.

Just as Advanced Learning is being Re-Visioned, so is Special Education.

I'm not sure how any of this will look in option schools.

Does that help at all? The next level of detail would be to say which sites will be home to which programs and that remains undetermined.

Charlie Mas said...

It will differ from the current status because Spectrum will be gone, collapsed into ALOs, and APP will be broken up to four or five sites at each school level instead of two.

Special Education programs should be closer to students' homes, but I wouldn't hold my breath.