There are a number of people who are very worked up about the School Board's recent decision to adopt Math in Focus as the instructional materials for K-5 math. A lot of the opposition has been expressed as outrage that the Board did not follow the expert recommendation of the Materials Advisory Committee. Is that really the beef? Really?
I find it very difficult to accept this claim as sincere from people who, as far as I can tell, have never expressed any similar outrage when other advisory committee recommendations have been ignored. I have been watching the District very closely for about 14 years and I have almost never seen the leadership implement the recommendations of an advisory committee. Almost never. So why would people - who never seemed to mind this failure before - suddenly become incensed this time? I can't say, but I can say that I don't believe that they are really upset about what they claim to be upset about. They are not really upset about the rejection of the recommendation.
Now, I am the very first to discourage conjecture about the motivations of others. I frequently and loudly advise against it. I strive to avoid it myself. But in this case I cannot. I need someone - anyone - who claims to be upset with the choice because it was not the committee's recommendation (not because they prefer enVision over Math in Focus or because they prefer the staff over the Board or because they prefer the Carr, Martin-Morris, Blanford faction over the Peters, Peaslee, Patu, McLaren faction) to prove to me that they were as strident when other committee recommendations were not implemented. Otherwise, I cannot accept the claim in this case. I must conclude that the real source of the upset is something else.
Where were you when the recommendations from a long line of Disproportionality Task Forces were neglected? Where were you when the District walked away from the CACIEE recommendations? Where were you when the District chose to ignore the recommendations from nearly every single advisory committee they have ever assembled? Moss-Adams, Highly Capable Review, School Family Partnership, etc., etc. etc.
I can tell you where I was. My outrage at their failure to adopt those recommendations are archived here on this blog. Here's a good one about the CACIEE recommendations.
So here's the really funny thing. From Melissa's reporting on the C & I Committee meeting I learned that Director Blanford claimed to be upset over the failure to follow the committee's recommendation. I wrote him an email in which I told him that I shared that outrage and encouraged him to follow up on all of the other advisory committee recommendations that have not been implemented, starting with the various "Close the Gap" advisory committees and task forces. From his response - yes, he responded - it appears that he thought my message was written with a sarcastic tone, but I meant it sincerely. Funny, huh? I'm the one who really is sincerely upset about the District's habit of ignoring recommendations from committees, but it is my sincerity that is not believed by people who are using that as a false flag.