Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee 6/14

The Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee met yesterday afternoon. Directors Sundquist and Martin-Morris (chair) were present. Director Patu was absent.

The meeting began with a discussion of the idea of waivers for schools that want to use something other than the Board-adopted materials as their primary texts. Schools are free to choose supplemental materials, but they are expected to rely primarily (there is no enforcement or objective measure) on the Board-adopted materials. The only Board-adopted material currently in use are the math textbooks - although this list will grow starting next year - and there are only two schools that have a "waiver". There is no formal process for granting a waiver and no formal process for revoking one. The discussion at this meeting was to confirm that the only waivers would be for materials and then to set a timeline for drafting procedures. Dr. Enfield committed to having draft procedures ready for Board review in the fall.

Special attention was paid to the extent to which alternative schools will be expected to use the Board-adopted materials.

Next came a discussion of the 150 hours of planned instruction required by law and how the District is meeting this requirement. The people at the table all agreed that this is not an issue for them and that it should not be a priority, but that because members of the public are worked up about they should do something to emulate concern. They believe with high confidence that they are meeting the legal requirements but they would like to issue a statement that they are meeting the requirement without counting passing time or professional development time. Before they do, however, they want to check to see if it is true. They are not particularly concerned by the variety of instructional hours from school to school. They agree that when CORE 24 is adopted the 150 hour rule will be repealed, and so, since they anticipate CORE 24, they don't want to invest in the 150 hour thing.

The only thing they said about the NWEA contract is that they want to fully disclose the Superintendent's involvement with NWEA as a member of their Advisory Board - not their Board of Directors - and that she will not participate in the decision to use their product (or some such incredible nonsense).

The District has a signed contract to offer an additional Project Lead the Way class at STEM but PLTW wants Board approval of the relationship. The District doesn't require it, but PLTW does. The Board will do so via resolution since the contract is already signed.

The annual revisions to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook were distributed.

Holly Ferguson distributed a draft calendar for Policy revisions which was cross-referenced by both the Policy Area, a time period for the policy to get review, and the Board committee that will review it. She had to allow for policies to need revision that had escaped notice before.

An example of such a policy is C32.00 and the accompanying procedure C32.01. No one in the District had noticed this policy until recently, for the first time in anyone's memory, someone used the policy to complain about a text. It was a book used in Language Arts in high school. That suddenly brought the policy to everyone's attention and they realized how much they didn't like the policy.

I had my whiteboard with me throughout the meeting and wrote on it from time to time, but without noticable effect.


Charlie Mas said…
Things I wrote on the whiteboard

"Alignment =/= Standardization"

"Alignment is about content, not materials"

While they were discussing the formal structure that they need to impose to evaluate the effectiveness of supplemental materials used by waiver schools, I wrote: "What formal structure is in place to evaluate board-adopted materials?"

"Why is professional development material specific?"

"If 'seat time' isn't important why do we tout extended day?"

"Why isn't the difference in instructional hours among schools an alignment issue or an equity issue?"

"Why isn't the superintendent's role on the Alliance for Education Board disclosed?"

Regarding the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, the various input sources for changes (public not listed), and the plan to get the Board involved early "Community Engagement?"

"The Board voted to direct the superintendent to review Policy D12.00 on 1/29/2009 - 1 1/2 years ago. Is this how long it was expected to take?"

I may have written some other things, but this is what I could remember.
seattle citizen said…
"they want to fully disclose the Superintendent's involvement with NWEA as a member of their Advisory Board - not their Board of Directors"

"Board of Directors

Dr. Jim Angermeyr
Ronald Blocker
Dr. Brenda M. Tanner
Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson
Lynn Fielding
Dr. Joseph J. Wise
Darlene Hooley"
seattle citizen said…
The superintendent is a voting Director on the Governing Board, not a "board of advisors," unless the information on NWEA's 990 Form is wrong"

"IRS Form 990: Section VI: Governance, Management and Disclosure:
Enter the number of voting members of the governing body: 7
Enter the number of voting members that are independent: 6
IRS Form 990: Section VII: Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees [etc}
List persons in the following order: Individual trustees or directors, institutional trustees, officers, [etc]
Jim Angermeyer, Director
Ronald Blocker, Director
Lynn Fielding, Director
Maria Goodloe Johnson, Director
Sahila said…
Do they think we are stupid or something?

Maybe they all think we dont know how to use Google, and even if we did, we couldnt actually read what the NWEA writes on its website...

The arrogance is mind-boggling, and heart-shrivelling...
Charlie Mas said…
No, Sahila, they don't think we're stupid, they think they have a bigger megaphone than we have. And they are right. They will state their lie louder and more convincingly than we can ever hope to state our truth.

Like the Seattle Times, they have the loudest voice so their message floods the market of ideas.
Way back when, I asked for the hours for every single school (yes, it was quite the pile of paper). It was quite surprising to see the variance in lunch times and seat times. When I questioned it, boy did I get a lot of pushback. The district clearly doesn't want parents to know how seat times vary from school to school. That some schools say "well, we do great with less" and others seem to meet the state standard seems to be a mystery. Why this variation? This needs to be explained to parents. If OSPI says one thing and the district another, it's confusing.
seattle said…
I was going to say they should post school seat time in the enrollment guide and make that information available to all parents who are choosing schools, but then I remembered SPS doesn't publish an enrollment guide anymore........

Parents will have to be super detectives to find out this type of information. It stinks.
Janice, I actually saw Enrollment Guides at the headquarters. I'm thinking that you can only get one there. They probably were trying to save costs of printing and distributing but it would have been nice to let people know.
seattle said…
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seattle said…
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seattle said…
You'd think if it was just about saving the costs of printing and distributing the enrollment guide that the district would go out of their way to make sure the guides were available online (as they always have been in the past). But this year there were no enrollment guides online - at least during enrollment. Are they online now?

It's good to know though that they did print them and that they are available at the enrollment office/headquarters now. I think I'll go grab one.

I wonder if someone at SPS read this blog and had them printed after they saw how many families posted that they were frustrated that at a time of such change and confusion in the district, and with a NSAP, there were no enrollment guide available??
Maureen said…
I wonder if it might make sense for all of us to start compiling a "shadow" enrollment guide :).

We could put together a spreadsheet (maybe Meg has the bones already) that lists all of the things we think are important for people to know about schools and link to it from this blog. The trick will be the fact checking--we would have to cite sources for all of our info of course.

Seat time is one thing, the number of actual AP/IB classes (courses and sections) would be another. It would be good to include summary descriptions of the programs offered (Is Spectrum 'real' or not?) We might be able to compile info on wait list movement, % of kids admitted from outside the reference area, amount fundraised.... what else?

Some NE parents put together a really useful guide to the enrollment process this year. Maybe they would be willing to keep it updated and post a link. I have a bunch of stuff bookmarked (like OSPI WASL) that could be useful. I'm sure that Mel and Charlie and Meg have even better stuff.

The links list in the upper right corner is a start--but to be act as a guide it would have to have more structure. I'm not a web person-but I'm sure some of you out there would know exactly how to do it.
ArchStanton said…
I wonder if it might make sense for all of us to start compiling a "shadow" enrollment guide :)

I think that is a really inspired idea. Even if it served no purpose other that to be a central location for (prospective) parents to find the nitty-gritty stats and details of various schools.

Vetting all of the info would be a chore. I suppose you could leave room for parents to share their experiences/observations... It would only be as useful as the quality of data/contributions submitted. That might skew things a bit.

At any rate, I would have found it helpful to have more info about the various schools we have considered - whether real data that the district didn't include in an enrollment guide or the shared insight of parents.

---one wonders how much need for an enrollment guide the district perceives when the NSAP doesn't exactly offer parents a lot of choice, anyway...

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