Dear Superintendent Banda and Board Directors,
Each version of the Growth Boundaries plan presented to the public has contained proposals that will dramatically affect the Accelerated Progress Program. Since the release of the first version of the plan on September 18, the APP Advisory Committee (APP AC) has collected feedback from parents and community members. On October 24, the APP AC held a meeting specifically designed to gather input; the feedback from that meeting is provided in the attached document.
Based on our review of the multiple Growth Boundaries plans, reflection on the plan in light of the Guiding Principles for APP (also attached) and input gathered from APP stakeholders across the District, the APP AC believes that:
- This plan does not demonstrate a long-term vision for Highly Capable Learners.
- Program integrity is paramount, and we believe the District plan places APP program integrity at great risk.
- Because this process is rushed, because the plan lacks long-term vision, because the plan will create inequity in how APP is delivered, and because this plan preempts the work of the Identification and Service Delivery Model Task Forces, we recommend that all decisions concerning APP should be tabled for 2014.
- Optional pathways because they will not have an adequate cohort size.
- Any 6th grade roll ups because they will not provide a comprehensive middle school experience.
- Too much growth too quickly. Expanding from six sites to thirteen sites will endanger fidelity of curriculum, professional development and collaboration, and cohort size.
- Site placement based solely on capacity issues. Many of the sites proposed for APP placement are directly contrary to the idea that APP should be placed where there are welcoming communities and supportive leadership, with principals and teachers committed to the academic needs of APP students, as recommended in the District's Audit of APP.
The APP Advisory Committee
End of letter
I will note that on THIS thread, please only comment about what is being discussed here. We are not going to have yet another argument about whether this program should exist.