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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee Meeting 11/5/12

The Board Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee will meet on Monday from 4:00 to 6:00.

The most interesting feature of the agenda may be how little is on it:


a. Creative Approach Schools Update (Phil)
b. Program Placement Update (Phil)
c. 2420 SP High School Grade and Credit Marking (Michael)
d. Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee Calendar Issues (Marty)
The C & I Committee has a long list of policies to review in Phase II, and they aren't going to get through them if they only review one a month like this.

Another interesting thing that isn't on the agenda: the advanced learning policy.

Take a look at this Action Item from the minutes of the September 10 C & I meeting:
Follow-up: Ms. Campbell will be sure that the Advanced Learning Policy 2190 be on the agenda at the next C&I meeting on October 8.
But, if we take a look at the agenda for the October 8 C & I meeting, Ms Campbell did not return with the advanced learning policy. I guess Ms Campbell wasn't all that sure after all.

Now we see the agenda for the November 5 C & I meeting and, again, Ms Campbell and the advanced learning policy are conspicuously absent. She still isn't sure.

So I have to wonder: where's the accountability? How should the Board respond to something like this?

The C & I committee is only trying to follow-up on advanced learning, but they aren't getting anywhere - the staff isn't keeping them informed despite a specific request for information and a specific assurance of information. The staff won't tell the Board if they are going to reconstitute the advanced learning programs task force and they won't tell the Board where they are going with the advanced learning policy. I think it's time for the Board to take responsibility for their own work and write the policy themselves instead of waiting for the staff to write the policy. In fact, since writing policy is specifically the Board's job, I don't understand why they were delegating it to the staff in the first place.

The Committee is also, as you can see from their agenda, trying to follow up on Creative Approach Schools and program placement. Creative Approach Schools are continuing apace - there has been no delay at the school level as a result of the appeal of the Board action and the subsequent re-write of the MOU. I think we will soon see motions before the Board to approve the waiver of policies for specific schools. This all needs to be done before open enrollment and should have no trouble making that deadline. It really should all be done in January or February at the latest.

Program placement also has to beat the open enrollment deadline and it is going to be close. The superintendent now says that he'll have a program placement framework ready in April of 2013, but that he'll have decisions made for 2013-2014 before that framework is ready. Should be interesting.

5 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, the silence from Bob Vaughn and the district about the Advanced Learning Committee and their work has been deafening.

Not one single communication. I think something is afoot and we'll all just hear about it when they are ready.

It may be that BEX IV is forcing their hand and that some real and final decisions will be made (and probably without any parent/community input).

Charlie Mas said...

I've had some email correspondence with Marni Campbell regarding the advanced learning question, but her claims don't ring true. She's trying to tell me that Bob Vaughan needs three months to develop a list of "key issues" in advanced learning. That shouldn't take more than an hour. The idea that he needs three months for it is both absurd and insulting.

Anonymous said...

I thank you for continuing to ask these questions. With one kid in one school, I don't even know where to begin and feel completely powerless without knowing many other parents in our position.

--APP in ALO

Charlie Mas said...

I attended the meeting today and it was the usual mix of boring, horrible, and wonderful.

Boring: Phil Brockman sure can talk a lot without saying anything. That man knows and uses more inaction verbs than anyone else in the District. When asked almost anything, his answer is that they are "having conversations about that". I think I dozed off twice when he was recapping Creative Approach Schools.

Horrible:
One of the worst parts came when Phil Brockman proudly described how the staff started work on the program placement procedure on August 1st. The Board gave them the job in September 2011 with a year to get the work done, and the staff waited 10 months before they even got started on it. No one questioned this timetable.

Another low point: Phil Brockman presented the quarterly program placement report and no one on the Board questioned the absence of any preview of upcoming program placement decisions.

Wonderful:
A high point came during the discussion of waivers from the district policy that requires 150 hours of instructional time for a high school credit, when Director Peaslee asked for some objectively measurable proof that the students were taught the whole course and that their learning did not suffer from the short class hours. Yay Director Peaslee!

More credit to Director Peaslee for making community engagement at the "collaborate" level a requisite for approval on Creative Approach School applications. She sited the original MOU which clearly requires community involvement in the design of the program from the start.

There were a number of lies told by Michael Tolley, Phil Brockman, and Harium Martin-Morris, but none that will likely impact policy. I guess those go into the boring category.

Charlie Mas said...

I didn't get to see the draft version of the Superintendent Procedure for program placement, but I did learn that it begins with definitions of what is a school, what is a program, and what is a service.

That's good.