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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Curriculum & Instruction Committee 9/10/12


The Board Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee will meet on Monday, September 10, at 4:00pm. Their agenda has been posted to the District web site.

It's pretty brief:
1. Call to Order (Marty McLaren) 4:00pma. Agenda Approval
b. Approval of Minutes: August 13, 2012
2. Committee Discussion Itemsa. University Tutors Contract (Kevin)
b. Policy 2420, Definition of a High School Credit (Michael)
c. Policy 2025 and 2025SP, Copyright Compliance (Eric C)
3. Adjourn 6:00pm

The District needs a new policy to define high school credit because the state law (WAC 180-51-050) defining high school credit was revised. The law dropped the requirement of 150 hours of planned instruction and calls for Districts to develop policies that grant credit upon:
(a) Successful completion, as defined by written district policy, of courses taught to the state's essential academic learning requirements (learning standards). If there are no state-adopted learning standards for a subject, the local governing board, or its designee, shall determine learning standards for the successful completion of that subject; or
(b) Satisfactory demonstration by a student of proficiency/competency, as defined by written district policy, of the state's essential academic learning requirements (learning standards).
The law also requires the District to adopt additional policies:
(5) Each high school district board of directors shall adopt a written policy for determining the awarding of equivalency credit authorized under subsection (4) of this section. The policy shall apply uniformly to all high schools in the district.
(6) Each high school district board of directors shall adopt a written policy regarding the recognition and acceptance of earned credits. The policy shall apply to all high schools in the district. The policy may include reliance on the professional judgment of the building principal or designee in determining whether or not a credit meets the district's standards for recognition and acceptance of a credit. The policy shall include an appeal procedure to the district if it includes reliance on the professional judgment of the building principal or designee.
The "Michael" associated with the definition of high school credit is Michael Tolley. He provided a draft revision of the policy at the last C & I meeting. He represented it as using the language directly from the new state law on high school credit but substituted the word "mastery" where the law called for "proficiency/competency". Mr. Tolley doesn't think there is any difference between the two. He says that a "D", which is a passing grade, demonstrates mastery. I wonder what an "A" means to him - if anything.

The draft policy reads:
Students will be awarded high school academic credit through demonstrating mastery of content standards by earning a passing grade according to the district's grading policy or satisfactory completion of an approved Alternative or Equivalency Course of Study as outlined in the Counseling Services Manual.
Mr. Tolley is something of a beautifully unique sparklepony.

The other items on the agenda are less controversial and less open to staff shenanigans.

Two items appear on the C & I Committee "parking lot":
a. Policy 2190, Advanced Learning  (Bob)
b. Wallace Grant Update - November (Carri)
Revision of the Advanced Learning policy has been delayed. Perhaps they want to wait until the Advance Learning Programs Task Force has been reconstituted (if that ever happens at all). Perhaps they want to wait until the District actually thinks about Advanced Learning and what their policy about it may be. The District has never had a coherent Vision for it and has strongly resisted every suggestion that they develop one. First they need to decide if they are for it or against it - let's not presume either. Then they need to decide whether they want to commit the authority of the Board to assuring any element of it. The draft policy initially presented by Dr. Vaughan ("Bob" to the Committee), was without any discernible meaning or effect. The District would be just as well served by having no policy on Advanced Learning as it would be by having the proposed one.

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