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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quarterly Strategic Plan Update

Yesterday the Board received their quarterly Strategic Plan Update and, once again, it was not a comprehensive review. Once again, the staff selected a few initiatives to highlight and make no mention of the bulk of them. How this constitutes an update on the Strategic Plan is alien to me, unless it was intended as entertainment instead of oversight. Every discussion of communications was about public relations instead of public engagement. Delays were brushed off or mentioned only tangentially - the new hiring system has been pushed back for yet another year. Old achievements were promoted as new ones - the academic and operational guidelines for the new student assignment plan came right out of the framework. And even when Director Carr asked about initiatives that are behind, the staff didn't mention any.

The Board showed no interest in a comprehensive review. The Board showed no interest in accountability. The Board showed no interest in community engagement. The Board really showed no interest in the whole exercise. Their most animated discussion was over when to break for dinner.

The presentation to the Board will soon be posted on the District web site, and I'll post a link here when it is available. You can and should review it, but there won't be much for you to take away. It isn't designed to inform, it's designed to promote and publicize. It's a propaganda piece, not an informational piece. The Board drank the kool-aid, but you don't have to.

5 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Public education has been replaced with public relations spin.

The board remains a willing accomplice.
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H.S. math texts selection decisions will be announced today for the core level .. grades 9, 10, 11.

Hard to teach high school math when k-8 is more spin than substance.
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In June Cheryl Chow said, when MG-J received the 10% bonus, that math needed work.

I wonder if Ms. Chow noticed a focused improvement on math as the admin ignored the state k-8 math standards for an entire school year.

I wonder if she noticed that immediate actions for math in the Strategic Plan never happened?
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Let's all chant "Everyone Accountable"

No Thanks No More Kool Aid,
we need School Aid. Leadership where art thou.

CS said...

Maybe they should be required to eat food prepared by the district's central kitchen (same menu as subjected to the elementary schools) when they break for dinner.

Charlie Mas said...

Actually, they do eat the food from the central kitchen. The difference is that they eat it the day that it is cooked. Students in the schools eat it either the following day or the day after that. None of the central kitchen food is eaten in schools on the day that it is cooked.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a link to the presentation given to the Board.

It is a review of the Strategic Plan in the same way that television news is journalism.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

Thanks for the link.

What does this mean:
Proposal for high school math adoption ready (vetted by public in March, voted by board in May) ?
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3 -High School Math Adoption
□ Two committees with parent and teacher representation have
reviewed state recommended materials, ( and totally ignored the State recommendations ) researched use cases, and sought public feedback (So they could ignore it as usual)
□ More than 600 students provided feedback on proposed materials
□ Final recommendation to be made to Chief Academic Officer by end of March
typical Seattle process.. where are the people who know anything about math and the National Math Panel Recommendations ... anyone read the mathematicians reports on how defective the proposed adoption "Discovering series" turned out to be? Mathematically unsound material is recommended by the committee.


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Update:
○ The first middle school math assessments were administered in
December.
○ Winter MAP assessments have been completed. A survey of teachers
and principals involved to obtain their feedback on the process and
assessment will be completed by mid-March.
○ The project team is in the process of identifying, evaluating and costing out three options for benchmark assessments to be introduced district-
wide in 2009-10.
○ Outreach conducted and ongoing to principals (of MAP and non-MAP
schools) to obtain feedback on benchmark assessment options.

So do we have any results?

Whatever happened to the PSAT results?


Some Update it says essentially nothing ... I feel like I was looking for an article from "The Economist" and wound up with a bubble gum comic.