Work out of sequence will create problems
The attendance area boundary work is scheduled out and will end in a motion before the Board introduced in October and approved in November.
There is also work scheduled out for discussion and decision about the re-vision of Advanced Learning and Special Education. The timetable for that work should have it finish up some time around January of 2014.
There is no current timetable set for the Equitable Access Framework. It was supposed to be done by April, but it has hardly been started.
This represents work getting done out of sequence.September of 2011 the Board directed the superintendent and staff to deliver the program placement procedure so it would be available for BEX IV planning. That deadline was missed and the BEX IV planning had to be done without the benefit of that valuable information.
In September of 2012 the Board re-set the deadline for the work, now re-named Equitable Access Framework, for April 2013. That deadline was also missed. The staff made a presentation in April, but it was a long way from an end product. They described it as "starting the conversation". No new deadline has been set, and the conversation has not advanced from that starting point. It appears that the Board has given up on the priority in the face of staff refusal. The Board evaluated the superintendent as “exceeds expectations” in the category that included the delivery of this work despite his failure/refusal to do the work.
Now we move forward with re-drawing attendance area boundaries without the Equitable Access Framework or any legitimate program placement procedure. There is talk about radical changes to Special Education and Advanced Learning programs - including program placement decisions - but the decisions for those changes will come AFTER the attendance area boundaries have been drawn.
Any reasonable person can see that the program placement work should come before the re-drawing of the boundaries. That’s the proper sequence. But the superintendent and the staff will be over a year late with this work (work that really should have been done back in 2010 when Dr. Enfield promised it) and the work will have be done out of sequence.
So what will happen? Will the boundaries be drawn without consideration of program placements? This will cause schools selected as sites for Special Education and Advanced Learning programs to be overcrowded. A school with a capacity of 1,000 will get an attendance area that captures 950 students, but when a program placement takes 180 seats in the building the school will become overcrowded.
Will the boundaries be drawn based on presumptions about what program placements are likely be? Wouldn't that pre-determine the placements and cause the placement decisions to be made based on the wrong set of criteria? Wouldn't it limit the options when the program placement decisions are finally made? Let's face it, if we were to put Elementary APP where the students live, the program would be sited at Sand Point and Stevens.
How, exactly, can the boundary work move forward in advance of the program placement work without guaranteeing the creation of program placement problems down the road?
How, exactly, can we talk about accountability as the superintendent and the staff continue to fail (or refuse) to deliver a cogent program placement procedure?