We've had quite the exhaustive discussion around SBAC testing and it hasn't even started.
Here's one teacher's take on what should be assessed:
* An assessment of children's nutrition before they come to school.
* An assessment of how many times children have been read aloud to before they entered kindergarten.
* An assessment on student attendance and student homework.
* An assessment on children's financial stability at home.
* An assessment of children's abilities to sleep each night in a loving home.
* An assessment to gather data on the damage that is done to
schools by politicians, CEOs and companies that lobby and manipulate
schools into spending millions of dollars on products that are
unnecessary, redundant and embarrassing.
What do some Republican lawmakers in Minnesota want to do? Break up Minneapolis School District...into six districts.
“One of the inspirations was a MinnPost interview with [departing Minneapolis school board member] Alberto Monserrate where
he described the district as a bureaucratic nightmare that no one can
overcome,” said state Sen. David Hann, the senate minority leader and
chief author of the bill.
“Everybody that I’ve talked to agrees
that we need to find a way to streamline decision-making and focus on
the classroom,” he says. “When you have this situation in large
districts like Minneapolis, the answer is to make them smaller, more
responsive… so families can have more impact.”
It’s a pilot plan and not a guarantee that it would result in
improvements in the achievement gap, but Hann feels it’s an option more
school districts would try if given the opportunity.
WHAT?! "Pilot" dividing up one district into six and see how that goes? Where's the data that shows that smaller districts are more responsive and families have more impact? You could suppose that to be the case but apparently we are a data-driven nation now so show me the data (we're still waiting for that from Pettigrew and Santos on their own bill).
Interestingly, the Minneapolis School Board would decide how the breakup happens. That certainly makes more sense than OSPI and Ed districts around Washington state deciding. But, hilariously that would be six superintendents and six school boards. And "the districts would be free of state mandates." Now THAT would explain splitting a district.
Speaking of legislative bills, LEV has a "bill tracker" so you can keep up with all the education-related bills in the Washington State Legislature.
One interesting bill I missed is HB 1142. Like many bills, it seems to have several issues rolled into one bill.
Part of the bill is pertaining to funds for student parking, either at school or at school events. This bill would force districts to put all (or at least a portion of) those fees into ASB funds. This would be a tremendous help for our high schools' ASB funding.
As well, this bill also would force districts to put money from lease/rental income into debt service or capital project funds. (The current language of the RCW says "shall" and this bill changes that to "must.") Money could only go into the General Fund for maintenance or other costs associated with those leased/rented properties or could go for maintenance on regular school properties.
What's on your mind?