- Changes in the Program Evaluation policy 2090
- Changes in the Supports and Interventions policy 2163
- Changes in the Superintendent's Procedures for Highly Capable Services & Advanced Learning Programs
Nearly all of these changes are deeply flawed.
The proposed changes in the program evaluation policy change it from requiring the District to determine the effectiveness of the instructional programs, you know, actually evaluate the programs, to just submitting a plan for evaluating the programs, you know, inaction. The old policy required the Superintendent to report on instructional programs. The proposed policy only requires the Superintendent to make that report, if the data is available. So forget any assessment of the quality or efficacy of any programs.
The Board should stridently oppose this codification of inaction and demand meaningful reports on the quality and efficacy of all academic programs and services including all advanced learning programs and services, special education programs and services, Montessori programs, international programs, language immersion programs, general education programs, service programs, and option programs. Schools are claiming to offer programs and services while doing nothing without anyone ever checking them. No more warehousing students and getting away with it.
Supports & Interventions policy 2163 (page 276)
The changes in this policy adds an "assessment framework" consisting of formative assessments, screening assessments, diagnostic assessments, and progress monitoring assessments.
The policy still requires parents and guardians be informed when interventions are used. The policy, very clearly, sees MTSS as a tool for helping students struggling to reach Standards and not as a tool to support students working beyond Standards.
If the staff is going to claim that MTSS is being used to provide Advanced Learning services then they better put something about MTSS being a tool for acceleration as well as remediation.
Superintendent's Procedure for Highly Capable Services & Advanced Learning Programs (page 295)
The revised procedure still doesn't describe Advanced Learning programs. It does, however, include the change in language around self-contained social studies that the Thurgood Marshall principal requested:
"Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) service model is self-contained in Grades 1-5 in ELA, mathematics, and science, and may also be offered as self-contained in social studies."
Garfield clearly is no longer regarded as part of HCC:
"For 9th grade, students who were enrolled in the 8th grade HC Cohort will be assigned to attend an accelerated AP pathway at Garfield or they may submit a School Choice form to attend an accelerated IB pathway at Ingraham. Placement at Ingraham is subject to space availability."
The revised procedure makes it clear that there is no difference between Spectrum and ALO except that Spectrum continues into middle school and ALO does not.
There is a change in the procedure about ALO/Spectrum program design that says:
"These students are typically served within General Education classrooms through flexible grouping, acceleration, and/or interventions through the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) model."Self-contained is not listed as a service model.
Of course, as we know, MTSS, according to the policy and procedure, are only for students working below grade level. There is no reference to supporting work beyond grade level in either the policy or the Superintendent's procedure.
The procedure does say that the Advanced Learning office will provide services to schools including assistance in curriculum alignment. It does not say what the curriculum will be aligned to.
Changes in Superintendent procedures are not subject to a Board vote, but the Board can choose to reject a change. They should send this one back and demand a meaningful description of the programs. They should demand curricula for HCC and Spectrum/ALO - or at least a defined set of academic expectations. They should demand language in the policies and procedures for MTSS that include support for students working beyond Standards.